by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS CHAYEI SOROH 5775 BS"DCh. 23, v. 4: "Achuzas kever imochem" - A burial heritage within you - Why didn't Avrohom immediately say that he wanted to purchase the "m'oras hamachpeiloh." Secondly, why did he say that he wanted a burial plot "within them?" Did he really want to bury his wife adjacent to defiled idol worshippers? Had he immediately asked for the "m'oras hamachpeiloh" he would have been asked an astronomical price, possibly beyond his means. He first asked for a regular burial section for his family within the general populace. It was only when the people said that Avrohom was a "n'si Elokim" in front of Efron that he asked Efron, a leader of the community to purchase some of his property. The price would then not be exorbitant.
We learn a practical lesson from Avrohom that when a person needs to purchase a specific item that he should first inquire about other similar items before asking for the item he is after. (Holy Zohar)
Ch. 23, v. 11: "Haso'deh nosati loch v'hamoroh asher bo l'cho n'satihoh" - The field I have given you and the cave that is in it to you I have given - Efron offered Avrohom the field and its cave as a present. This would remove the need to comply with the law of "bar metzra," to first offer it to the owner of the abutting property. When one gives it as a present this does not apply. However, Avrohom did not want a present. Once we have a sale the rule of "bar metzra" returns. To obviate this Avrohom offered 400 "shekel kesef" which were "kantrin" coins, coins that were the best monetary medium available. It is obvious that no one would give a competing offer of so much money, especially in "kantrin" currency, so even with a sale "bar metzra" was obviated. (Ponim Yofos)
Ch. 23, v. 16: "Va'yishma Avrohom el Efron va'yishkol Avrohom l'Efron es ha'kesef" - And Avrohom listened to Efron and Avrohom weighed the silver - Rashba"m comments, "Dai lachakima birmiza," a word to the wise is sufficient. What message lies in Efron's words that is not overt? He clearly asked for 400 silver weights of coinage. Efron added on "beini uveincho mah hee." What did he mean with this? Avrohom understood that Efron covertly was telling him that he wanted the best, fullest weight coinage that would be accepted in commerce anywhere. How so? He said "beini uveincho mah hi." Between me and you, meaning if the payment will be in coins that are only good for a sale that is between the two of us, but others might not accept the coins at their full face value, then "mah hee," what is it worth to me? I do not want to sell for such coins. Avrohom understood this covert message, "Dai lachakima birmiza," and gave only "over lasocher" coins. (Rabbi Hillel Lichtenshtein of Kalamiya)
Ch. 24, v. 22: "Va'y'hi kaasher kilu hagmalim lishtos va'yikach ho'ish nezem zohov" - And it was when the camels completed drinking the man took out a golden nose ring - Why did Eliezer wait until after the camels drank to bedeck Rivkoh with jewellery? The Ramban in verse 32 cites the M.R. that says that the camels would not partake of anything that was forbidden. If so, since Rivkoh's father had rights to the well water, how did the camels drink stolen water, as Besuel might not want to give it? (It seems that Eliezer accepted water for himself and his men because they were dehydrated.) It must be that it has been decided in Heaven, "MeiHashem yotza hadovor," that this would be a marriage. It was only at this point, when the camels drank, that Eliezer was willing to bedeck her. (Chasam Sofer)
Ch. 24, v. 27: "Onochi ba'derech nochani Hashem beis achi adoni" - On THE path Hashem has led me the house of the brethren of my master - "BA'derech" means a known path. Eliezer said that he realized that he had reached the correct address by virtue of Hashem leading him miraculously through "kfitzas ha'derech." This definitely brought him to the conclusion that he came to the right destination. (Kedushas Levi)
Ch. 24, v. 29: "Va'yorotz Lovon el ho'ish" - And Lovon ran to the man - The next verse tells us that he saw the jewellery and "Va'yovo el ho'ish," seemingly slowing down. We cannot say he ran because he saw the jewellery, as that is only stated afterwards. Another issue, verse 28 ends with "ulRivkoh och ushmo Lovon." We have an axiom that when a righteous person is mentioned his name precedes the expression "his name is," and by an evil person the name precedes "his name is." If so, why does the verse say "ushmo Lovon" rather than "v'lovon shmo?"
These issues are resolved by the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh. Although Lovon was an evil person here, at a distance he saw a man with his daughter. He thought that this man might molest her so he ran. When he came closer he saw the jewellery that bedecked her and realized that there were no evil intentions, and slowed down and "va'yovo el ho'ish." Notwithstanding that he was a bad person, here where the Torah is relating that he ran for a good reason his name precedes "ushmo."
Meshech Chochmoh has a novel explanation for Lovon's first running then slowing down. He says that Lovon saw a man with a lot of jewellery. He thought that this stranger might be coming to bring offerings for a prospective "choson," namely himself, and he ran. When he got closer he saw that the jewellery was for Rochel, so he slowed down when he came closer.
Ch. 24, v. 33: "Va'yusam l'fonov le'echol" - And it was placed in front of him to eat - In the previous verse we find Lovon serving Eliezer's camels himself, and likewise giving Eliezer bathing water himself. Why here does the verse not say the same, "va'yosem" or "va'yitein" but rather in the "pual" form? Lovon was entrusted with feeding the camels and bringing bath water, but not with preparing food. The food was "placed in front of him" by his accompanying camel drivers who were trained in kashrus. (Meshech Chochmoh)
Ch. 24, v. 42: "Vo'ovo hayom el ho'oyin" - And I have come today to the wellspring - Rashi comments, "Yofoh sichoson shel avdei ovos mitoroson shel bonim." This is explained by the Degel Machaneh Efrayim as follows: How do we indeed know that the speech of our Patriarchs' servants is beautiful? The answer is "mitoroson shel bonim," as this is included in the Torah and is the study of sons and further descendants.
Ch. 24, v. 42: "Vo'ovo hayom el ho'oyin" - And I have come today to the wellspring - Rashi comments that Eliezer experienced the miracle of the land jumping for him, i.e. that he miraculously arrived quickly. When Yaakov left for Choron he did not experience this miracle. It was only when he passed Har Hamorioh that he also had "kfitzas ha'derech" Why wasn't he accorded the same convenience as Eliezer? The Chasam Sofer answers that Yaakov was leaving Eretz Yisroel. For this there are no accommodations to leave quickly. To remove Eliezer, who was a Canaanite servant, accommodations were made to get him out quickly.
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