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Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Life Lessons
Parshas Vayeira: Rav Gedalia Eisman - Chesed, Avrohom Style

Avrohom Avinu was the greatest Ba'al Chesed to ever live. His life was a continuous song of Chesed to others. Yet, in the Torah we find one event singled out as the epitome of his Chesed: that of serving the three guests on the third day after his Mila. The Baalei Mussar all try to find the single factor in this event that made it so monumental that it was recorded so famously above all the others.

Rav Gedalia Eisman (see U'Lisitcha Elyon) the Mashgiach of Kol Torah says that after the old and weak Avrohom came to greet the "guests" and made his generous offer, they brazenly answered (Vayeira 18:5) "Kein Taaseh Ka'asher Dibarta." They didn't graciously accept the offer, but, rather, commanded Avrohom to do exactly as he promised.

Everyone gets a geshmack out of helping others from the goodness of his own heart. But if instead of appreciation and recognition for his good deed, the recipient turns around and demands to be served, the bubble is burst and all excitement over performing the chesed dissipates and even turns sour. Pangs of anger well up inside of us as a natural response to the insolence of the person we wanted to help.

Not so Avrohom Avinu whose response to this arrogant answer was, "Vayimaher Avrohom HaOhela El Sarah."  Avrohom did not care about the atittude of the recipient, only about helping him with his needs. It made no difference if the recipient was gracious or obnoxious. On the contrary, if the recipient demanded of Avrohom, that was a clear sign to him that the recipient was in dire need and should be helped faster and harder.

Avrohom, the symbol of Chesed's response to the Malachim's demand, was to run to fulfill this demand. That is the path Avrohom set forth for us, and that is the ideal we should each strive for when it comes to Chesed.


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Visitor Comments: 2

JG, Monsey, 2011-11-07 07:20:12
Wow! What a concept! This is one to be repeated.
RS, Gateshead, 2011-11-07 10:40:39
Allow me, once again to put this somewhat in perspective.
Kol mi sheein boi deah, ossur lerachem olov (Sanhedrin 92b). The Steipler ztvkl in his Sefer Birkas Peretz says that this cannot be taken literally after all we are meant to emulate Hakodosh Boruch Hu in His middos, and we know Verachamov al KOL maasov! Why should someone lacking intelligence be deprived of our mercy?
The Steipler explains that this gemoro is referring to someone who lacks HAKORAS HATOV.
He continues to present a vivid picture of what happens when we begin showing kindness to ungrateful recipients. Instead of feeling and showing their gratitude, these people convince themselves (and others too) that they are fully deserving of your favours which you are duty bound to deliver. As a result you are now compelled to continue or even upgrade - these favours. Failing this, they will demand their rights, sue you, curse you and even defame your character all because you fell into the trap of feeling sorry for these people.
It is therefore OSSUR to embark on this path, lest we become ensnared in a situation from which we cannot escape.

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