Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gut Vuch - Oct. 30, 2010

I oscillate about what I'm doing here. Someone once told me that I was the most metaphorical person she knew, that everything about me represented something. She liked me. When I said/wrote that I oscillate about what I'm doing here I meant the blog. And yet it's bigger than that. Some people like that about me. I once dated someone who liked that I don't write on the lines (literally and figuratively) - she said it was her favorite thing about me. I've dated more than one person (as well as the same person more than once) who've pointed out that I don't write on the lines of my life diary - "As if I didn't know that, as if I didn't know my own bed - as if I'd never noticed the way she brushed her hair from her forehead."

I heard some nice Torah in Teaneck over Shabbos from Rabbi Lawrence Rothwachs and others. He addressed the issue of the taking of a wife being compared to the taking of a burial plot (kichah/kichah). He cited Rabbi Tzvi Sobolofsky who said that just like burial is unique in that it is kindness which is true - chesed shel emet (because you don't do it expecting the person to pay you back) so too marriage is ideally a playing field for kindness done without taking a quid pro quo stance. He also cited someone saying that ideally marriage should last till the end of life (and I'd add maybe to the grave and then beyond). That was this morning (at hashkamah).

Last night he suggested that the high price of funerals may be a case of ma'aseh avot siman lebanim, having started with Avraham. He then told a story about a man whose father dies. the father left 25 million dollars to each of his sons. The other son was from a different marriage and he was not Jewish. His price for agreeing to a Jewish burial was 25 million dollars. Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (born April 10, 1910) (in a teshuvah several paragraphs long) said that he had to pay it. And he did. (I went to Rav Elyashiv on two occasions to ask a shaylah, years ago).

My host - Phil Stein pondered the words used when Avraham tells Eliezer to go get a wife and Eliezer asks if he can bring Yitzchak back to where Avraham came from. Avraham describes how G-d took him out of there and promised him he'd become a great nation. I looked at Rabbi Hertz who says that Avraham is saying that getting Yitzchak a wife is part of the plan of him becoming a nation away from his birth place. He was saying that he knew that G-d would help and that there was nothing to worry about.

I decided this week to look for a vort at the end of Chayei Sarah, instead of at the beginning. It says that after Avraham dies G-d blesses Yitzchak the son of Avraham. The Kli Yakar says that G-d gave Avraham the power to bless. Avraham did not want to bless Yitzchak because he feared it would trickle down to Eisav. G-d blesses Yitzchak, after Avraham dies, specifying that he should remain the chosen son of Avraham. (I'd add that He blessed Yitchak to be worthy of being considered the son of Avraham in every way).

Why do I write here? Let me count the ways. I like to write. I like share Torah. I like to be appreciated.

One who likes to write needs to be extra careful.


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