Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 23, v. 3: "Va'yokom Avrohom mei'al pnei meiso" - Avrohom's eulogy for his wife was that his success in elevating himself, "va'yokom Avrohom," was through his wife's positive influence, "mei'al pnei meiso." (Rabbi Shlomo of Munkatch in Chaim v'Sholom)

Ch. 23, v. 15: "Arba mei'os shekel kesef bein u'veincho mah hee" - Rashi comments that between two lovers, between you and me, what significance is there in 400 shekel kesef. Why did Efron consider their relationship as between two lovers? The intention is not that they love each other. Rather, Efron loves money, and Avrohom loves mitzvos. For each of them 400 shekel kesef is insignificant. (Admor of Belz)

Ch. 24, v. 17: "Va'yorotz ho'evved likrosoh" - Rashi says that Eliezer saw that the water in the well miraculously rose from the depths of the well towards Rivkoh. If so, why was there a need to test her? Even if one sees open miracles being wrought for someone, it is not conclusive that the person has good character traits. (Rabbi Yisroel of Modzitz in Divrei Yisroel)

Ch. 24, v. 23: "Ha'yeish beis ovich mokome" - Is the Omnipresent One in your father's home? (Rabbi Yisroel of Modzitz in Divrei Yisroel)

Ch. 24, v. 40: "Hashem asher his'halachti l'fonov v'hitzliach darkecho v'lokachto ishoh livni" - What is added by saying "asher his'halachti l'fonov"? Rashi ob Breishis 6:9 d.h. "es" contrasts "asher his'halachti l'fonov" with "es hoElokim his'halech Noach." Avrohom needed no support from Hashem to serve Him, while Noach was only able to "walk WITH Hashem," connoting that he needed support in his pursuit of spirituality. In a previous issue of Sedrah Selections it was explained that "l'fonov" indicates that Avrohom created spirituality AHEAD of Hashem, i.e. even where there was a lack of belief in Hashem, Avrohom spread the good word. Not so with Noach. Only where there was a positive environment was Noach able to flourish. This was unfortunately limited to his household, as we see that he was not able to persuade others to repent. Since Avrohom sent Eliezer to Aram Naharayim to find a wife for Yitzchok, how did he realistically expect him to find a woman who was G-d-fearing? Obviously, she would have to be someone who was self-motivated and created her own spiritual environment.

We now understand why the merit of "asher his'halachti l'fonov" is mentioned. Just as Avrohom worked for Hashem, spreading spirituality in a spiritual vacuum, so too, he deserved to find a wife for Yitzchok who likewise did this, even in Aram Naharayim. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 24, v. 42: "Vo'ovo ha'yom" - Rashi says, "Yofoh sichoson shel avdei ovos lifnei haMokome miToroson shel bonim." The stories told by the servants of our forefathers is pleasing, when it is "miToroson shel bonim," when it is explained by their descendants. They interpret the stories to not be simply tales. Rather, there is great Torah wisdom in all the words. (Rabbi Yeshayoh of Prague in Roshei B'somim)

Ch. 24, v. 63: "Va'yeitzei Yitzchok losuach baso'deh" - Yitzchok not only prayed in the field, but he also influenced the plant life to pray along with him. This is why the word "sichoh" is used to connote prayer, as we find "siach haso'deh" (Breishis 2:5). (Rabbi Nachman of Breslav in Likutei Mohara"n)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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