Friday, Mar 31, 2023

Shield Of Avrohom

Throughout Tanach, we find that tzedakah and mishpat stand at the center of our avodas Hashem. The novi Michah tells us that these are the qualities that Hashem demands of us (Michah 6:8). In Yeshayah, we learn that we will be redeemed from golus through mishpat and tzedakah (Yeshayah 1:27). Yirmiyahu teaches us that this is what Hashem desires (Yirmiyahu 9:23). And when Zechariah summarizes the words of the nevi'im who preceded him, he tells us that the sum total of their words is to judge truthfully and to practice kindness and compassion toward one another (Zechariah 8:16).

In this week’s parsha, we are told why Hashem loved Avrohom Avinu. Hashem loved him because he will command his children after him and they will keep the way of Hashem to do tzedakah and mishpat (Bereishis 18:19). The posuk doesn’t merely focus on the fact that Avrohom will command his children, but the posuk tells us that his children will indeed guard and preserve the path that their forefather set them on. Avrohom Avinu made these qualities such an integral part of his being that they will never depart from his children.


This is not to say that we do not need to grow and cultivate these qualities within our nation. The words of the nevi’im are filled with Hashem’s admonitions to Klal Yisroel that we were not meeting Hashem’s expectations in regard to tzedakah and mishpat. But what this does mean is that Hashem will preserve a core of tzedakah and mishpat in the hearts of our people.


This concept gives us a deeper understanding of a bracha that we say three times a day. The Chiddushei Harim explains that when we say the bracha of Magein Avrohom, Shield of Avrohom, we are thanking Hashem for His ongoing protection. Not only did Hashem protect our forefather Avrohom, but He continues to protect the path of Hashem that Avrohom Avinu planted in the hearts of his children.


When Chazal encourage us to ask ourselves, “When will our own actions reach the actions of our forefathers?” they are not directing us to look outside of ourselves. Instead, they are encouraging us to build on the foundation that is already present in our neshamos.



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