Posts Tagged 'Rebecca'

Parshas Toldos | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Toldos | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

November 21, 2014 – Candle lighting 4:20 pm, Shabbos Ends 5:28 pm

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

The Kollel Connection is dedicated in memory of the innocent victims of the barbaric terrorist attack that took place in Jerusalem this week. May Hashem bring comfort to all the widows and orphans caused by this tragedy, may He grant a speedy recovery to all those injured by these attacks, and may He avenge their deaths from the wicked animals who perpetrate such crimes.

This week we read Parshas Toldos. The Parsha begins will the story of the birth of Jacob and Esau. Isaac and Rebecca had been married 20 years, and they prayed that they be granted a child. Hashem heard their prayers and Rebecca became pregnant with twins. The Torah tells us that a very unusual thing occurred. There was a struggle in Rebecca’s womb. The Torah does not explain the nature of this struggle, but the Sages do. When Rebecca would pass by a house of Torah, Jacob would give her pain, as he strove to leave her womb. When Rebecca would pass by a house of idols, Esau would try to leave her womb. Rebecca was concerned with the opposite directions she was getting from her  children, and asked for an explanation from Hashem.

One of the most basic questions asked here, is to try to understand why Esau would  try to leave his mother’s womb when she passed by a house of idols?   After all, he was still a little baby in his mother’s womb. Our Sages teach us that when a child is its mother’s womb, it is the best time of its life. It need not do anything to support itself, yet it has the ability to learn the entire with an angel provided for this express purpose. Why then, would Esau want to leave his mother’s womb, and not experience the special holiness that was provided there? More than that, if Esau had not been born yet, how could he already have such an evil inclination to sin? Was he created with a handicap? Could he be held accountable for anything he did wrong?

There is a beautiful lesson here.  We often look around, and see a person who seems to have none of the challenges that we do. We get jealous of them, and envious. We feel like throwing up our hands and saying “it’s too hard!”. We have to realize, that this attitude is a mistake. Each one of us is born with a different challenge; Each one of us is created with a different situation – that will help us reach our perfection. The fact that Esau may have had a desire from the beginning of his being to go and to serve idols did not absolve him from his obligation to try to overcome that desire. Indeed, that was the very challenge that Hashem had created for him to overcome.  When we feel a desire to run after a sin, – even something as basic as running after our evil inclination away from pure goodness, we have to realize that this challenge was given to us to overcome it. Rather than giving in to it, as Esau did, we have to learn to rise against it, and to overcome it.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

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Parshas Chayai Sarah | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Chayai Sarah | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

November 14, 2014 – Candle lighting 4:25 pm, Shabbos Ends 5:33 pm

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

The Kollel Connection is dedicated this week in honor of the upsherin (first haircut) of Zechariah Biron. Mazel tov to his parents, Naftoli and Tzirel Leah Biron, and to their entire family!!!

This week we read Parshas Chayai Sarah. In the Parsha will learn the story of the search for an appropriate wife for Isaac. The Torah tells us that Abraham dispatched his trustworthy servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Isaac. When Eliezer arrived in Aram Naharaim, the birthplace of Abraham, he waited by the water well to find a good match. The Torah then tells us that a girl came by to get water for her family. When she left from the well, Eliezer ran after her. The Sages ask, what made Eliezer run after this girl? They explain that when Rebecca came to the well, the water rose to her.  Eliezer saw this, and realized that she must be a special person, and therefore ran after her.

Where do the Sages see in the Torah that the water rose toward Rebecca? Nachmanidies explains that when the Torah tells us later that she fed all of Eliezer’s camels, it says “and she drew the water for all his camels” (Genesis 24:20). That clearly indicates that  Rebecca not only gave the water to the camels, but also drew it up from the well. When Rebecca took the water for herself, it just says “and she filled her jug” (Genesis 24:16). It does not say that she drew it,  and our Sages deduce from here that she did not have to draw it – as the water rose by itself. When Eliezer saw that miracle, he ran after her.

The commentaries ask, if Rebecca was so righteous, and the water rose to her so that she shouldn’t have to draw it when she took it for herself, why wouldn’t the water rise also when she had to give the camels to drink?

The Kedushas Levi offers a beautiful thought, that provides us with an amazing lesson and attitude for life. When Rebecca was drawing water for herself, Hashem made a miracle that the water rose, so she would not have to have the pain of drawing the water. Later, however, when she was drawing the water for Eliezer’s camels, she was involved in an act of chesed, an act of kindness. Doing that was a mitzvah. The more a person exerts themselves in a mitzvah, the greater the power of the mitzvah is. Therefore, Hashem did not make a miracle for the water to rise by itself, so that Rebecca would have to work on drawing the water and get a greater mitzvah.

The lesson we are taught is to appreciate any efforts that we expend for a mitzvah.  Rather than trying to lessen our efforts for a mitzvah, we must value them and appreciate them. They provide us a chance to make our mitzvah more powerful, and an opportunity for growth with them.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

KC 373 – Parshas Chayai Sarah | The Kollel Connection

KC 373 – Parshas Chayai Sarah | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

October 25, 2013 – Candle lighting 5:47, Shabbos Ends 6:55

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.  We appreciate your comments and feedback.

This Shabbos we read Parshas Chayai Sarah. In Parshas Chayai Sarah  the Torah tells us the fascinating story of the quest by Abraham and his slave Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac. The Torah describes how Eliezer was sent to find a wife, and how he devised a plan to choose Isaac’s wife. Eliezer decided that he would give a test, to make sure that he would find a woman who excelled in being kind. He went to a well, along with all the camels and men who had accompanied him from Abraham’s house. They waited by this well, and Eliezer prayed to Hashem, asking for the right girl to come by. He said that he would wait for a girl to come by, and if when he asked her to give a drink to him, she would be so kind and offer to also give water to his camels; she would be the girl that is fit for Isaac, to become his wife.

When Rebecca came, the Torah tells us that Eliezer ran out to her. Why did he run to her? Rashi tells us that Eliezer saw the water of the well rise when she came, signifying that she was a very righteous person. Nachmanidies asks, where is this indicated in the Torah? In a most interesting observation, Nachmanidies points out that when Rebecca afterwards draws the water for the camels, the Torah says that “she drew for all the camels” (Genesis 24:20). In the previous verse that talks about Rebecca giving drink to Eliezer, the Torah does not mention anything about her drawing any water. This teaches us that in fact, at this time, Rebecca had no need to draw the water, for the water rose up to her.

Rav Levi Yitzchak of Bardichov asks, why would the water rise for her only when she went to the water the first time, and not when she drew the water for the camels? Rav Levi Yitzchak answers, that there is a most important difference between her drawing water for herself, and her drawing water for Eliezer’s camels. When she drew water for herself, Hashem wanted to make it easier for her, and made the water rise for her. When she was going to draw the water for the camels, however she wasn’t just doing something for herself. She was doing a mitzvah, showing kindness and helping others. We are taught that the more effort and energy that we expend in doing a mitzvah, the more reward we get. Therefore, Hashem did not have the water rise for her, so that she would expend more energy and get more reward for doing the mitzvah.

This beautiful idea will hopefully give us encouragement. Sometimes when we do a mitzvah, it’s not so easy to do it. We should realize that every ounce of energy that we expend in doing the mitzvah, will be rewarded for eternity by the Almighty. This will hopefully make it easier for us to put the proper effort into doing the mitzvahs.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.


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