web analytics
September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



The ‘Perfect’ D’var Torah

Lessons-logo

Several years ago, my wife and I were in Boro Park for a wedding. Early the next morning, we received news from Yerushalayim that we had a new grandson.

Right after the phone call, I went to Shomrei Shabbos on 13th Avenue for Shacharis and received an aliyah. After the Mi She’beirach was made for the mother and newborn, a stranger told me a beautiful d’var Torah on the subject of bris milah. I later relayed the d’var Torah to my son by phone. He enjoyed it very much and asked me to e-mail it to him.

Unfortunately unable to attend the bris, through the wonders of computer technology and Skype, we were able to be there – virtually speaking! The laptop was placed on a shtender in front of the speakers. My wife said that she felt as if she was in the men’s section.

The baby was named after my mechutan’s alter zaidie, who was chief rabbi in a large community and had written a seferD’var Yechezkel, which was filled with beautiful drashos (a copy of which my mechutan gave me). For his speech at the seudas mitzvah, my son delivered the d’var Torah that I had e-mailed to him.

We were sorry we couldn’t make it to the bris, but were very excited that we would be going to Yerushalayim for the pidyon ha’ben. Right before we left chutz la’aretz, I was browsing through the sefer written by my mechutan’s alter zaidie when, lo and behold to my great surprise, I found the same d’var Torah that the stranger had told me in Boro Park – the one recited by my son at the bris. It was the rach hanimol’s (baby’s) great-great-great zaidie’s d’var Torah! Even more incredible is that Hashem arranged for my grandson to hear the d’var Torah of the very same person for whom he is named.

Chazal said it best: “Torah mechazeres al achsanya shela” – Torah returns to its inn [to be hereditary in the family] (Bava Metzia 85).

The following is the d’var Torah:

The Gemara in Nedarim 32 says in the name of Rav Yehuda that when Hashem told Avraham Avinu to “Walk before Me and be tamim [perfect], Avraham worried that perhaps he was not complete in his worship of Hashem. When Hashem later told him, “I will set my bris [covenant] between Me and you,” Avraham was relieved. How did Hashem’s response allay Avraham’s worry?

Regarding bris milah, Tosafos (Shabbos 131) says that even if the proper time for observing the mitzvah (the eighth day) has passed, the mitzvah is not nullified and can still be performed on subsequent days.

The Gemara in Kiddushin 82 says that Avraham observed the entire Torah before it was given. Why then didn’t he perform the mitzvah of bris milah on himself, and only do it when Hashem commanded him to do so? According to the previously quoted Tosafos, there is no problem here. Since one can do bris milah anytime after the eighth day and not lose the mitzvah of having done so, Avraham waited for Hashem to command him in the mitzvah. This is because Chazal (Avodah Zarah 3) tells us that someone who is commanded to do a mitzvah and adheres to the command is greater than the person who does it voluntarily. Regarding all the other mitzvos, Avraham couldn’t wait for Hashem’s command because, unlike bris milah, the time of the mitzvah would have passed.

When Hashem told Avraham to walk before Him and be tamim, Avraham thought that the mitzvah was a negative one – to not be uncircumcised – and for every moment that he hadn’t circumcised himself, he had transgressed the mitzvah. But when Hashem told him that it is a positive mitzvah of performing a bris (“I will set my bris between Me and you”), Avraham was relieved since he realized that he had never transgressed. Why? Because even after the eighth day, he hadn’t lost out in gaining the mitzvah, for it could have still been performed anytime thereafter.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The ‘Perfect’ D’var Torah

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party.
Lapid Slammed by Secular and Press for Shabbat Press Conference
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

More Articles from Mordechai Bulua
Lessons-Emunah-logo

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

Lessons-logo

Several years ago, my wife and I were in Boro Park for a wedding. Early the next morning, we received news from Yerushalayim that we had a new grandson.

Recently, I discovered a frum website, www.jewish-e-books.com, that allows one to download hundreds of Jewish books – both in English and Hebrew. Having written a sefer myself, I was able to get it put on their website.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/the-perfect-dvar-torah/2013/11/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: