Dreaming of Moshiach

Friday, October 19, 2007

Parshat Lech Lecha

"And he pitched his tent, with Bet-El on the west and Ai on the east" (12:8)

Harav Yehudah Leib Fine, zs'l, the Rav of Slonim, commented on the way the Torah depicts Avraham Avinu's, zs'l, travels. Ai and Bet-El were both very large cities; Ai even had a sovereign during the period in which Yehoshua bin Nun, zs'l, conquered it. Avraham Avinu's tent, on the other hand, was of a temporary nature, pitched on the crossroads. One would expect the geographical locus of the tent to be secondary to the major cities. Instead, the Torah writes that the cities were situated on the west and east of the tent, lending greater significance to the tent than to the cities!

This teaches us that the places from where the Torah is disseminated, constitutes the central point, the "heart" of the community, while everything else around them is secondary. It indicates that Avraham Avinu's tend is where the "Ohel Shel Torah" (tent of the Torah) was located.

The Chafetz Chaim, zs'l, observed how secular maps use symbols, ranging from microscopic dots to stars, in order to identify various cities. Whereas the secular world assesses the promimence of a city commensurate with its population and political import, the Torah map is founded on a different scale. The Torah-learning and mitzvot observance of a given area determines the distinction and significance attributed to it.

Peninim of the Torah by Rabbi A.L. Scheinbaum




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו