The Shabbos Table – Vayeira: R’ Y. Sacks Shlita: Lead by Example
This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my mother Chaya Rochel Bas Dovid Tzvi (Hareini Kaparas Mishkavah), my sister Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my paternal grandmother Channah Freidel Bas Avraham A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein,
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmother Shulamis Bas Etta
-MY BROTHER: MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO BEN CHAYA ROCHEL
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
_R’ Simcha Yitzchak Ben Mirela Yudka
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-Yonatan Menachem Mendel Ben Orly, Eli Aharon Michel Ben Chaya
-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of HaRav HaGa’on V’Sar HaTorah Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Ben HaRav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky A”H, Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken by terrorists (Hashem Yikom Damam), COVID-19, and other tragedies.
-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael during this dire time, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.
The wounded should experience Refuah Shileimah, the captives should be returned safely, the fallen should experience Kevurah and Aliyah for their Neshamos, their Krovim should experience Nechamah, the Chayalim should be Matzliach and Minatzei’ach, and Am Yisrael should experience Geulah.
Be”H, I will be translating / transcribing / paraphrasing Divrei Torah of my Rebbi, HaGaon R’ Yonason Avner Sacks Shlita. (Any inaccuracies, whether added, misrepresented, or due to omission and/or points lost in translation or context should be attributed to me alone. * = My addition.)
“Lead By Example”
Sichah – Vayeira: Hashem’s Chessed (2014)
Mimeni Tir’u V’Chein Ta’asu (Yomim MiKedem – Parshas Vayeira, Page 175)
Models of Gemilus Chassadim
Parshas Vayeira and Chayei Sarah provides us with remarkable examples of Gemilus Chassadim. Vayeira begins with the Mitzvah of Bikur Cholim. Avraham is recuperating from his Bris Milah when, all of a sudden, Hashem appears and, as the Gemara in Sotah (14A) describes, engages in some form of Bikur Cholim. In Parshas Chayei Sarah, following the Petirah of Avraham Avinu, Hashem blesses Yitzchak for the purpose of Nichum Aveilim (Ibid.).
No “Mitzvah” of Bikur Cholim / Nichum Aveilim
Indeed, the Torah emphasizes and portrays these incidents of Bikur Cholim and Nichum Aveilim. However, the Rambam writes (Hilchos Aveilus 14:1) that there is no explicit Mitzvah (command) of Bikur Cholim or of Nichum Aveilim per se. Yes, Rambam writes that they are B’chlal (included in) “V’Ohavta L’Rei’acha Kamocha,” but why is there no Tzivui of Bikur Cholim or of Nichum Aveilim.
By Instruction vs. By Example
Yes, HaKadosh Baruch Hu could have communicated the importance of Bikur Cholim and Nichum Aveilim by instruction, but He chose to teach these Mitzvos by example. Hashem Himself was Mevaker Choleh for Avraham Avinu and Menachem Avel for Yitzchak Avinu. This is not just a command, but this is what HaKadosh Baruch Hu does. By following these examples, we can apply the Pasuk cited by Chama Bar Rebbi Chanina of “Acharei Hashem Elokeichem Teileichu” (“Follow after Hashem your G-d”). “Follow My Lead. Follow that which I do. Don’t just follow My instruction, but My example.” One is limited in what he teaches by instruction. Avodas Hashem and Gemilus Chassadim have to be modeled. We have to then emulate Hashem and follow, not just instruction, but His lead and example.
We should be Zocheh to follow Hashem’s example and model Gemilus Chassadim and Avodas Hashem, and Hashem should model for us the ultimate Chessed of delivering our Geulah with the coming of Moshiach, Bimheirah BiYomeinu!