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21.10.2013 11:48    Comments: 0    Categories: Weekly Parashah      Tags: parasha  torah  vayera  sfat emet  

Michal Bitton notes on Reb Aryeh Glaberson Sfat Emet class

In the Parsha, it discusses Avraham’s 3 giant friends, 3 brothers: Anar, Eshkol and MamreiAvraham was very close with them. They became his followers as a result of Avraham’s outreach.  Avraham spoke to them about everything he did, he confided in them and asked for their input on various matters.

When Avraham got the divine order to do a brit on himself, he also consulted with them and Mamre was the only one of the brothers that told him to follow G-d’s command and do the brit. The others dissuaded him, their rationale, that this brit or covenant, would forever separate Avraham from the rest of the world and make him an enemy to them. Mamre on the other hand, took a different shita and encouraged Avraham to follow G-d’s command. His reward for giving Avraham this good eitza was to receive the kavod of having a place named after him, Elonei Mamrei, the “Planes of Mamre”.

Why was Mamre rewarded with such infinite kavod?

 True that he gave Avraham good advice but it was more than that, there was something very commendable about Mamre’s  message to Avraham and a very important lesson that can be learned from Mamre’s middot.

The 3 giants understood that by Avraham giving himself a brit, he was making a covenant with Hashem and that he and his children would then be forever separated from the rest of the world. Anar and Eshkol didn’t like that. Their message to Avraham was why do you have to make enemies for yourself, don’t rock the boat and just be like us!

Mamre on the other hand, believed otherwise. He WANTED Avraham to be special and therefore agreed to the covenant. He knew it made sense that Avraham would have this heightened spiritual role in the world because he felt how special Avraham was and that he had a different calling in life. The commendable element of his advice was that Mamre knew that this brit would forever change his relationship with Avraham and hinder their time together. He knew it would mean that he may “lose” a friend along the way and therefore it was a great sacrifice.

In truth though, when one does something for his friend that is beyond himself, he puts the friendship in the back seat in order for his friend to flourish and become who he is supposed to be in the world, there is actually a special closeness between them. Perhaps the physical time they spend together diminishes but their friendship becomes that much deeper and infinite because now Mamre, through his selfless action, becomes part of the mission of klal Yisrael which Avraham is tasked to start.

The message here is that no one can do anything or accomplish anything important in the world unless they are part of Klal Yisrael as a whole. It cannot be done as an individual. Goyim have to respect our tafkid in the world and although they may not all be mekabel this just yet, they will eventually have to be mekabel that we were chosen by Hashem to have a special role in the world, the role of tikkun olam. That is something that we can already see happening, slowly slowly, even if they don’t love us, you can see Goyim, when they come to Israel, they come to realize that we ARE different, with a different and special tafkid and that they have to accept it. The fact that Klal Yisrael is slowly but surely returning to Israel with all the aliyot, after all the exiles and persecution is a blatant proof to them that we are here to stay and to send a message to the world, and although there are certain nations that still want to fight it, ultimately, they will come to realize who we are and accept it.

Mamre understood this. He “chapt” that it was not about him being this righteous individual, who was in close proximity to truth and spirituality by being chummy chummy with the leader of the times, Avraham. He accepted that in order to really be a tzadik, you have to be part of a klal, that klal is klal Yisrael, and if it meant that Mamre would lose some of his own kavod for the sake of getting the task of tikkun olam done through Avraham and his descendents, he was willing to accept that. It was through that acceptance that he, in the end became infinitely part of the task. That level of maturity and acceptance gained him the kavod of having a place named after him, Elonei Mamre.

The message for everyday life is that sometimes, you have to give up your own kavod for the sake of the greater good, say someone can do the job better than you for instance. If you can accept that and step aside for the klal, you will be respected and rewarded infinitely in the end.

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