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Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Vayeira: Ramban - Do You Need To Take Seriously Every Quack That Claims To Know The Future?

Three Arabs travelers show up at Avrohom and Sara's tent on a very hot sunny day. Avrohom gives then the royal treatment. They are fed fresh tongue and other delicacies. The service is top notch as the 99 year old man, his wife, and their entire staff run around to supply everything they could ask for and more. After resting and eating, one of the Arabs pipes up and says to Avrohom whose wife has not had a child and is 89 years old, "You know, next year I am going to be back around this way again, and I guarantee you that your wife will have a baby son." This is pretty funny. Why was Sara taken to task for laughing at this very laughable scene?

The Ramban asks this question and answers that the pasuk says that Sara laughed "Bikirba" deep inside. Meaning she mocked the entire notion that such a thing was possible. She rejected, not the Arab's prophesy which would have been acceptable, rather she rejected the possibility that such a thing could happen. "What she should have done," says the Ramban, "was believe that it could happen and raise a tefila to Hashem by saying, 'Amein Kein Yehi Ratzon.'"

The Baalei Mussar say that everything you see and every word you hear is meant to be seen and heard by you, and it's all for a reason. The messenger is not the main part, the message is. Ignoring all the circumstances surrounding the message you must ask yourself, "What is the underlying message and how should I respond?"

RELATED ARTICLES:Avrohom & Sara  bitachon  Parshas Vayeira

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Visitor Comments: 6

Re, 2007-10-25 22:45:58
Thank you to the person who pointed out that Avrohom was 99 and Sara 89 (not 100 and 90 respectively) when the Malachim came. We apologize for the mistake.
Anonymous, 2007-10-25 22:48:21
Who said they were not 100 and 90. I think I remember there is a machlokes when the malachim came and exactly how long before Yitzchok's birth and how long Sara was pregnant. Anyone have any clues about this?
Anonymous, 2007-10-25 22:52:16
Avrohom was 99 at his Bris and this was 3 days later. Hard to believe his birthday was in between.
YH, 2010-10-21 11:51:12
You write, "The Baalei Mussar say that everything you see and every word you hear is meant to be seen and heard by you, and it's all for a reason." Let's say things b'sheim omro - it was the Baal Shem Tov who emphasized this lesson (which went along with his approach to understanding Hashgacha Pratis - even a leaf blowing in the wind).
Anonymous, 2010-10-21 19:36:45
To YH - Actually the gemara said it in Brachos. The whole world is created for each person.

You yourself correctly write that the Baal Shem Tov "emphasized" this. He didn't invent it and is not the first or only person to say it. Every Baal Mussar says it.
YH, 2010-10-23 18:27:34
This is not the place to go into a lengthy explanation about what made the Chassidic movement a radical new approach to Yiddishkeit but suffice it to say that it was Achiya ha'Shiloni (a navi from Tanach times) who taught the Baal Shem Tov, and his teachings, although sourced in Torah of course, were a gilui-revelation and were not how talmidei chachamim looked at Torah previously (hence, the opposition to him and his successors). The baalei mussar you refer to came way after the Besht and adopted his outlook, at least on this point (and there are Torah greats who still do not look at the world in this way).

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