Wednesday, Dec 7, 2022

Megillah 17: The Portion of Every Jew

On this daf, we find that Yaakov was held to a very high standard and the same is true of all the avos. The Chessed L’Avrohom explains why: “Since they were forging the Jewish people, they were held to a very strict standard.”

The Ramchal explains exactly what it means to be a Jew with depth and clarity: “Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov imbued within the Jewish people a very powerful intrinsic connection to Hashem. Every soul must have at least one good point to have sustenance in the next world, without which it will wither and die. Even one sincere action or deed is enough to give the soul eternal life. A Jew cannot completely fail in fulfilling something that will impart eternal life. A non-Jew can theoretically fail, but a Jew cannot.”

Rav Nachman of Breslov adds, “Sometimes the bad in a person reigns so supreme that he makes a concerted effort to uproot the intrinsic connection between the soul and Hashem. When this happens, it cannot possibly succeed. One of two results transpire: Either the person changes his mind or at least lets up on his efforts to remove himself from G-d’s people, or when he is about to actually uproot his soul, he dies. Due to the efforts of the avos, a Jewish soul is programmed to escape the body and not return just to avoid such deep disconnection.”

Rav Tzadok Hakohein of Lublin adds, “Not every Jew is the same. We are all at different levels to what extent we have internalized our knowledge of Hashem and how much we long for a connection to Him. But the actions necessary to bring us to the World to Come is the portion of every Jew, no matter what” (Chesed L’Avrohom; Daas Tevunos, Part II; Likkutei Moharan; Tzidkas Hatzaddik).

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