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Tuesday, Mar-Cheshvan 7, 5780 / November 5, 2019


Some interesting points from the Midrash on this week’s Parsha, Lech Lecha.


Parsha(Gen. 12:1):  G-d said to Abraham, at the age of seventy five; "Go out from your country, from your birthplace, and from your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great. And in you shall all the families of the earth bless themselves."


Midrash:  A man was walking in the desert on a very hot day.  He was hungry, thirsty and very tired.  But there was no food, water or shade in sight.  Suddenly, he saw a tree full of ripe fruits, its branches gave wonderful shade and a stream of water was flowing by the tree. He ate the fruit until he was satisfied, then he drank the water. Finally, he lay down in the shade of the tree and fell asleep.  When he awoke, he was full of energy and vigor, ready to continue his long journey.


Before he left, he looked up at the tree and said with emotion, "Tree tree, I want to bless you for saving my life.  But what should I bless you with?  With beautiful fruits?  You have it already.  Should I bless you with shade?  You have that too.  Should I bless you with a stream flowing next to you?  You don't need my blessing for that either.  However, I will bless you that all the trees that will come from your seeds shall be as marvelous as you!"


In a similar way, the Midrash says, was G-d's blessing to Abraham, "In you shall all the families of the earth bless themselves."  Everyone will pray that their descendants shall be like you!


Parsha(Gen. 12:5):  And Abra[ha]m took Sarai [Sarah] his wife, and Lot his brother's son and all their substance that they had gathered and the souls which they made in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan and they came to the land of Canaan."


Midrash: "If all the nations of the world got together and tried to create the smallest fly, they couldn't give it life.  Yet, the Torah says, 'And the souls which they made!'  How is this possible?  But, this refers to the converts whom Abraham and Sarah brought closer to G-d.  For when one brings someone closer to G-d, it is considered like they created them!"


Parsha (Gen. 12:16): "And he [Pharaoh] bestowed gifts on Abrahambecause of her [Sarah]."


Midrash:  Rabbi Chelbo said, "A man should always be careful to honor his wife; for the blessing in his house is only due to the wife, as is written, "And he did good to Abraham because of her."  The Talmudic sage Rava would remind the people of his city, Mechuza, "Give honor to your wives so that you will be blessed with wealth!"