Make each day yours: Avraham Avinu did!

The yearning to do chesed, does not stem from the needs of the recipient, but from the need of the giver.

Danny Ginsbourg, | updated: 07:42

Judaism Making charity packages
Making charity packages

We read in our parsha (24:1): ואברהם זקן בא בימים וה׳ ברך אותו בכל: ‘And Avraham was old, well on in years, and Hashem blessed him with everything’.

The Hasidic Masters have a different ‘translation’ of the words:בא בימים-instead of ‘well on in years’, they interpret it literally, as:‘came with days’.

Expounds the Netivot Shalom:’Avraham was able to come before Hashem, with all ‘his’ days- since he did chesed each and every day- therefore he merited that ‘Hashem blessed him with everything’’.

Rav Chaim in Chernowitz beautifully desribes the ways of the ba’al chesed:’He cannot live without doing chesed; so great is his need, that he is continually on the look-out:perhaps he can do an act of chesed; each morning, he wakes up and goes out, to pursue, to seek those for whom he can do chesed’.

Adds the Rav:’And Eliezer found that this, too, was the way of Rivkah, from the manner in which she treated him, and the camels.

When she, a very young girl, is asked by a seemingly able-bodied Eliezer להגמיאני: to pour into my mouth from the water she has just now drawn from the well, she does not- as we would be wont to do- reply: why can’t you drink by yourself, from the well before you!

Instead, she stands on the tips of her toes, and does as asked. And, not only does she do this, but, unbidden, offers to also slake the considerable thirst of his ten camels!

And she does so with alacrity, showing her joy at having this unparalleled opportunity to do chesed!

And, as Rashi expounds Eliezer’s test:(24:14)’The girl to whom I say: lower your water vessel so that I may drink, and she will say: drink, and I will also give water to your camels, she will be the one that You- Hashem- have proved to be the mate of Yitzchak’-

Comments Rashi:’She is worthy to enter the house of Avraham’.

Rav Nebenzahl asks rhetorically: From where did Avraham- and Rivkah- learn that this was the proper way to do chesed?

He  answers: From Hashem! Hashem created this world להיטיב לברואיו: to ‘do chesed’ to his creations; He has an unlimited שאיפה: ‘yearning’ to do chesed; and, since there was no one for whom he could do chesed, He created man, animals and plants, so that there should be those for whom he could do chesed!

Concludes the Rav:’We find, therefore, that the yearning to do chesed, does not stem from the needs of the recipient, but from the need of the giver- it is צורך אישי שלו: a personal need of his!

Contemplation of the Attributes of Hashem, is the source of the exceptional chesed of Avraham- and of Rivkah!’.

A parting thought:We thank Hashem in our daily morning prayers, that He ‘in His goodness, each day renews מעשה בראשית, the Creation’.

By each of us doing chesed each and every day, we are fulfilling His commandment (Ki Tavo 28:9):והלכת בדרכי; and you shall go in My Ways’!

לרפואת נחום אלימלך רפאל בן זהבה רבקה, בתוך שאר חולי עמנו.