Parshas Chai Sarah 2018

November 4, 2018

Week was tough. I do not recall why.

Friday night – November 2, 2018: Ate by the Glenners. Karen and Mattityahu came in. Sholom ate with us and Tzvi came late. I said over a Vort from Aish Kodesh, I heard from Rabbi Efraim Goldberg. It was from Dr. Henry Abramson’s new translation on the Piatzner Rebbe’s Drashes from the Warsaw Ghetto, which puts everything in historical context. Mayer Chase and family came over after their meal. Aviva and David Weinschneider also came over. Got home at 10:30 PM.

Shabbos Morning November 3, 2018: Today is my 32nd Anniversary of my employment with MB. At 8:20 AM walked with the Roberts to escort their son, Dovid Aryeh, to Eichenstein on Devon for his Auf Ruf. Davening was quick. Kiddush was good. Schmoozed away. Walked with Serka, Tzvi, and Mordy to Michael Benjamin’s Auf Ruf at Chabad on Howard. Came during the Kiddush. The Challeh was great. Walked to Rivki’s house.

Torah on Chaya Sarah:

Timing: Age of Avraham: Age of Ishmael: Age of Yitzchak:
Ishmael Born 86 Born  
Yitzchak Born 100 14 Born
Ishmael banished 103 17 3
Avraham visits Ishmael 106 20 6
Avraham re-visits Ishmael 109 23 9
Sarah Dies 137 51 37
Avraham remarries 140 54 40
Yaakov and Eisav Born 160 74 60
Avraham Dies, Ishamel repents 175 89 75
Ishmael Dies a Tzaddik   137 123

This Shabbos I focused on Bereshis Chapter 25, Verse 9, Verse 11, Verse 17, and Verse 18.

1.pngThe Verses say:

יא וַיְהִ֗י אַֽחֲרֵי֙ מ֣וֹת אַבְרָהָ֔ם וַיְבָ֥רֶךְ אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־יִצְחָ֣ק בְּנ֑וֹ וַיֵּ֣שֶׁב יִצְחָ֔ק עִם־בְּאֵ֥ר לַחַ֖י רֹאִֽי

Rashi explains that God’s blessing to Yitzchak was that God consoled him with the consolations of mourners. Sotah 14a. It seems odd to me that the verse says at its beginning, “And it was after Avraham’s death.” It would seem more appropriate to leave out these words (not like the Sifsei Chachomin.)

This is one of the two times the Torah mentions that God offered consolation. The other was to Yaakov when Dvora, the nursemaid of Rivka, died. Rashi says that Rivka also died. Why only these two times did God pay his respects. When Sarah died at the beginning of this Sedra there is no mention of God’s consolation.

The second part of the Verse states that Yitzchak settled by Be’er Lachai Ro’i. Be’er Lachai Ro’i is mentioned twice before. In the first, Hagar meets the angel and gives this name to the well when she was ejected from Avraham’s house 72 years earlier. The second time was earlier in the Parsha, Chapter 24, Verse 62 – 38 years earlier, when Sarah died. Rashi there says that Yitzchak went to Be’er Lachai Ro’i to bring Haggar back to remarry Avraham. Hagger lived in Be’er Lachai Ro’i. Chapter 24, Verse 62 also informs us that Yitzchak lived in the south, with Rashi adding ‘near the well’. In the above Chapter 25, Verse 11, it says that Yitzchak dwelt by the well. Did Yitzchak now move to the well or did he live by the well for 38 years, since Chapter 24, Verse 62. Odd thing in both is that you would assume that Yitzchak would be living with his father, presumably in Be’er Sheva.

ט. וַיִּקְבְּר֨וּ אֹת֜וֹ יִצְחָ֤ק וְיִשְׁמָעֵאל֙ בָּנָ֔יו אֶל־מְעָרַ֖ת הַמַּכְפֵּלָ֑ה אֶל־שְׂדֵ֞ה עֶפְרֹ֤ן בֶּן־צֹ֨חַר֙ הַֽחִתִּ֔י אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־פְּנֵ֥י מַמְרֵֽא

Rashi says that we learn from the language of the Torah that Ishmael let Yitzhak lead in the burial of their father that Ishmael repented. The Gemoro Baba Basra 16B adds the word “Be’Yamiv,” in his days, meaning that Avraham was alive to witness the repentance of Ishmael. Beautiful.

Rashi says this is learnt because he let Yitzchak be the lead despite being the older brother. At this time, Ishmael was 89 years old. Ishmael was 17 years old when he left Avraham, 72 years earlier. For 72 years the Torah does not mention Ishmael, and the Torah re-introduces him as righteous.

There is a beautiful Yalkut Shimoni that adds some color to Avraham and Ishmael. Page 56 of the Yalkut, Chapter 95 brings down the following story:

2.jpg

Ishmael was 17 when he left Avraham . . .  Ishmael sent and took a wife from the daughters of Moab and Asiah was her name. After 3 years, Avraham went to see Ishmael and promised Sarah that he would not disembark from his camel when he got to Ishmael’s house. Avraham gets there at midday and finds Ishmael’s wife home. Avraham asks for Ishmael. Asiah says he went with his mother to bring fruits and figs from the desert. Avraham asks, please give me a little bread and a little water because I am famished from traveling the desert. She answers, I do not have bread or water. Avraham tells her that when her husband returns, tell him that he (Ishmael) should change the threshold because it is not good or proper for him. She tells her husband and, being a son of a wise man, Eisav understands the message and sends his wife away. He marries Fatimah. Another 3 years pass and Avraham again visits Ishmael . Avraham gets there mid day. Again Ishmael is not there. Fatimah brings out food for him. Avraham prays for his son and Ishmael’s house fills up with everything good, money and blessing. Ishmael returns and Fatimah tells him that his father visited. Ishmael understood that Avraham has mercy on him (Avraham still loves his son.), like the verse says that a father has mercy for his sons

Verse 17:

יז.  וְאֵלֶּה, שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל–מְאַת שָׁנָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה, וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנִים; וַיִּגְוַע וַיָּמָת, וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל-עַמָּיו.

In describing the years of Ishmael, the Torah uses the same terminology as by Sarah and Avraham, meaning the word years separate the hundreds, tens, and singles. Rashi does not explain what this references here as he did by Sarah and Avraham. The question remains what does it means that Ishmael at 100 was like he was at 30and at 30 like he was 7. The Da’as Zekamin on 23:1 talks about this.

Rashi also says the word וַיִּגְוַע is a word that references a righteous man. It this comes out that Ishmael was a righteous man from the time of Avraham’s death to Ishmael’s death, 48 years.

Verse 18:

. נָפָֽל ה עַל־פְּנֵ֥י כָל־אֶחָ֖יואַשּׁ֑וּרָ אֲכָ֖הוַיִּשְׁכְּנ֨וּ מֵֽחֲוִילָ֜ה עַד־שׁ֗וּר אֲשֶׁר֙ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י מִצְרַ֔יִם בֹּֽ :יח

18. And they dwelt from Havilah to Shur, which borders on Egypt, going towards Ashur; before all his brothers he dwelt.

The verse employs the word אֶחָ֖יו – brothers. This word in Hebrew is references brotherhood, a common bond, a very positive relationship..

Verse 11:

יא וַיְהִ֗י אַֽחֲרֵי֙ מ֣וֹת אַבְרָהָ֔ם וַיְבָ֥רֶךְ אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־יִצְחָ֣ק בְּנ֑וֹ וַיֵּ֣שֶׁב יִצְחָ֔ק עִם־בְּאֵ֥ר לַחַ֖י רֹאִֽי:

18. And they dwelt from Havilah to Shur, which borders on Egypt, going towards Ashur; before all his brothers he dwelt.

The verse employs the word אֶחָ֖יו – brothers. This word in Hebrew is references brotherhood, a common bond, a very positive relationship..

Verse 11:  יא וַיְהִ֗י אַֽחֲרֵי֙ מ֣וֹת אַבְרָהָ֔ם וַיְבָ֥רֶךְ אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־יִצְחָ֣ק בְּנ֑וֹ וַיֵּ֣שֶׁב יִצְחָ֔ק עִם־בְּאֵ֥ר לַחַ֖י רֹאִֽי:

Rashi explains that God’s blessing to Yitzchak was that God consoled him with the consolations of mourners. Sotah 14a. It seems odd to me that the verse says at its beginning, “And it was after Avraham’s death.’ It would seem more appropriate to leave out these words (not like the Sifsei Chachomin.) This is one of the two times the Torah mentions that God offered consolation. The other was to Yaakov when Dvora, the nursemaid of Rivka died. Rashi says that Rivka also died. Why only these two times did God pay his respects. When Sarah died at the beginning of this Sedra there is no mention of God’s consolation.

The second part of the Verse states, Yitzchak settled by Be’er Lachai Ro’i. Be’er Lachai Ro’i is mentioned twice before. Hagar meets the angel and gives this name to the well when she was ejected from Avraham’s house 72 years earlier. The second time was earlier in the Parsha, Chapter 24, Verse 62 – 38 years earlier, when Sarah died. Rashi there says that Yitzchak went to Be’er Lachai Ro’i to bring Haggar back to remarry Avraham. Hagger lived in Be’er Lachai Ro’i. Chapter 24, Verse 62 also informs us that Yitzchak lived in the south with Rashi adding near the well. In the above Chapter 25, Verse 11 it says that Yitzchak dwelt by the well. Did Yitzchak now move to the well or did he live by the well for 38 years since Chapter 24, Verse 62. Odd in both is that you would assume that Yitzchak would be living with his father, presumably in Be’er Sheva.

What is the hidden story the Torah is alluding to in this series of verses.

The answer is as follows and it is magnificent:

1) Ismael is kicked out of the home. An Avraham visit Ismael twice and Ishmael realizes that his father still prays for him and still loves him. The Teshuva process starts.
2) Sarah dies and Yitzchak goes to bring back Hagar at Be’er Lachi Ro’i. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks says that Yitzchak wanted to bring back not only Hagar, but Ishmael. The Teshuva process gets heats up.
3) Hagar marries Avraham. The Teshuva Process is complete.
4) Avraham dies, Ishmael and Yitzhak are brothers in every sense of the word, bury Avraham.
5) Ishmael dies and the Torah tells us that Ishmael is a Tsaddik.
1) The Torah testifies that after Ishmael dies the brotherhood falls apart. Meaning that during Ishmael’s years as a Tsaddik he brought peace to his family. He was like Avraham, a unifying force. Once he dies, there is nothing to hold the family together. The Torah uses the words “brothers” to tell us as long as Ishmael was alive; his righteousness was so strong that his children good to one another and there was good in his world.

Let us recap the questions:
1) Why Nechum Avelim?
2) Why does Yitzhak live by the well, Be’er Lachai Ro’i?
3) Why doesn’t Yitzchak live by his father, assuming Avraham lives in Be’er Sheva?
4) What is the meaning of Verse, “Ishmael was 100 years, 30 years, and 7 years”?
5) Why does the Torah use the words “brothers” in Verse 18?

Observations
6) Ishmael’s Tsidkus started when Avraham was still alive and was a Tsaddik for well over 48 years
7) Avraham lives in Be’er Sheva and Sarah dies in Chevron

Answers:
1) Not sure.
2) Seems that the well was especially spiritual.
3) Do not know.
4) Perhaps – at 100 we know that Ishmael was righteous, perhaps the verse is comparing 100 to 30 is to tell us that Ishmael was righteous or on his path to a Ba’al Teshuva at 30 because of Avraham’s love for him. At 30 like he was 7. Even though Ishmael at 30 was not a perfect son, Avraham loved him like Ishmael was 7. At 7 Ishmael was a good kid and when Avraham looked at Ishmael at age 30, he saw in him a kid of 7, a good kid.
6) The Torah uses the words brothers to tell us as long as Ishmael was alive; his righteousness was so strong that his children were brothers, were good to one another and were good to the world.
7) No idea.

I put together this chart and over the next few years, I will work on refining it.

Where Lived          
Avraham Sarah Haggar/Ishmael Yitzchak
Age 75-100 Chevron Age 65-90 Chevron    
Age 103       Desert of Paran  
Age 101 -126 Land of Pilishtem/ Age 90-125 Land of Pilishtem/ Desert of Paran  
  Be’er Sheva   Be’er Sheva    
Age 126-137 Chevron Age 116-127 Chevron    
Age 137       Be’er Lachai Ro’i Land in the South
         

 

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Week of Parshas Toldos: 2018

Week of Parshas Toldos:

November 6, 2018 – missed the weddings of the Benjamins and the Roberts. I had tickets, but I had to present a loan.

file-e1542198732699.jpeg

November 7, 2018 – Bicycled to Anshei Sholom for morning prayers. Walked in on a Bris of the Perls. I was dressed with my blanket grey sweats. I was embarrassed to go into the meal with my grungy clothes. After everyone left I talked with the entire Perl family and took two lox sandwiches home with the family’s blessing.

Went to Rabbi Wolkenfeld’s Shiur on Rabbi Yosef Karo at 7:30 PM.

November 8, 2018 – Went to a department meeting in Rosemont. Very emotional.

November 9, 2018 – Bicycled to Anshei Sholom for Shachris. First snowfall and it was cold, 32 degrees. All Friday I was working on my Dvar Torah for Shabbos.

Shabbos – November 10 – Friday night:
Ate by the Glenners with Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman. Wanted to speak but it did not work out.

Shabbos – November 11 – Shabbos Day:
Davened in Bais Mint. At 11:30 went to Bnei Ruvain for Sheva Brochos of Michael and Rifkah Benjamin. I spoke. Said how Rachel’s parent made us a Sheva Brochos in 1980.

My Torah was a continuation of last week’s. Last week I spoke about Ishmael’s Teshuva and he died a Tsaddik. There is a debate in Midrash whether Ishmael did Teshuva, but it seems as if the consensus is that he repented – this is Rashi’s opinion.

Toldos – Chapter 28 – Verse 7 and 8:

וַיַּ֣רְא עֵשָׂ֔ו כִּ֥י רָע֖וֹת בְּנ֣וֹת כְּנָ֑עַן בְּעֵינֵ֖י יִצְחָ֥ק אָבִֽיו :ח

בַּת־יִשְׁמָעֵ֨אל בֶּן־אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֲח֧וֹת נְבָי֛וֹת עַל־נָשָׁ֖יו ל֥וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה וַיֵּ֥לֶךְ עֵשָׂ֖ו אֶל־יִשְׁמָעֵ֑אל וַיִּקַּ֡ח אֶת־מָֽחֲלַ֣ת : ט

8. And Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan were displeasing to his father Isaac.

9. So Esau went to Ishmael, and he took Machlas, the daughter of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, the sister of Nebaioth, in addition to his other wives as a wife.

Did Eisav take Machlas to honor his father and repent or was he still wicked and wanted to deceive his father? Rashi seems to say that Eisev intended to repent.

The Midrash Rabbah 67:13 on these two verses brings down a disagreement. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says that Eisav wanted to do Teshuva. This is why Ishmael’s daughter was Machlas which in Hebrew means forgiveness, that God forgave Eisav sins. This is in line with Rashi on Genesis 36:3.

Rebi Eliezer says that Eisav did not repent and he brings proof from the words “in addition to his other wives”. Meaning he added evil to evil. Eisav had no intent to repent. He kept his evil wives that Yitzhak and Rifkah hated.

However Rashi on Verse 9 uses this verse as follows:

To his other wives – He added wickedness upon his wickedness, for he did not divorce the first ones [From Genesis Rabbah 67:13].

The problem is that his verse is used to say that Eisav never intended to repent. If Rashi holds that Ishmael was a Tsaddik and Eisav wanted to repent, how can he bring down this explanation?

I believe the answer is as follows:

Rashi is consistent. Rashi says that Ishmael was a Tsaddik and his daughter Machlas was good. Eisev did intend to repent. Rashi is coming to answer why Eisav’s repentance didn’t last. The answer is that Machlas was good as long as her father was alive. He died right before the marriage. Eisev did not get rid of his evil wives and since Machlas did not have a pillar of strength to remain good, she was influenced by her evil co-wives and did not remain a positive influence to Eisav.

Torah #2:
I also worked on the first verse in Toldos:

יט. וְאֵ֛לֶּה תּֽוֹלְדֹ֥ת יִצְחָ֖ק בֶּן־אַבְרָהָ֑ם אַבְרָהָ֖ם הוֹלִ֥יד אֶת־יִצְחָֽק:

What does the Hebrew word Toldos mean? I put this chart together which compares 4 times the Torah uses the word Toldos and what the various Reshonim say. See attached.

 

Medrash Rabbah 67-13

Translation of Toldos