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Shabbat Parashat Vayigash | 5769

National Jealousy, The Significance of a Name

Ein Ayah

National Jealousy

(based on Ein Ayah, Berachot 1:79)

Gemara: [Regarding the name,] Reuven, Leah said: “See the difference between my son and the son of my father-in-law. My father-in-law’s son, even though he knowingly sold his status of firstborn, what does it say about him? ‘Eisav hated Yaakov.’ In contrast, my son, even though Yosef took his status of firstborn, still he was not jealous of him.”

Ein Ayah: Reuven is the firstborn of Israel; therefore, he is representative of all of Israel. Israel’s attribute in relation to the other nations parallels Reuven’s relation to his brothers. Thus, Israel taught the world the good trait of forgiving and doing good to those who cause one anguish.

In this way we see the difference between Israel and the nations of the world, who are jealous of Israel because of its advantage over them. The main advantage is only in the realm of the spirit, which mainly comes from the good choice to act in a straight manner. Therefore, those [who choose differently] are the ones who sell their own status of firstborn. Why are they steeped in desires? That is why they are not elevating themselves in degrees of intellectualism, while Israel succeeds when it sets out on the path of wisdom. Despite this fact, “Eisav hated Yaakov.”

In contrast, they pursue us, forcibly take our firstborn status, and have pushed us out of the desired Land and plastered us with false libels. Nevertheless, are eyes are looking forward that Hashem should open up the eyes of all inhabitants of the world to follow the path of Hashem, to know Him and to serve Him. Our eyes do not at all wait for revenge. We end off our prayers: “… that all the evil of the land shall turn to You, all of those who inhabit the universe should recognize and know that to You does every knee bow…”



The Significance of a Name

(based on Ein Ayah, Berachot 1:80)


Gemara: How do we know that a name affects matters? R. Elazar says: “It is as the pasuk says, ‘Go see the doings of Hashem, who places shamot (destruction) in the land’ (Tehillim 46:9). Do not read it as shamot but as sheimot (names).”

Ein Ayah: The scholars of the truth have taught us that there is no such thing as complete coincidence. This is particularly true in regard to man, his intellect, and his speech. Therefore, things will not occur by coincidence, and the general harmony [of Divine providence] encompasses the past, the present, and the future. Therefore, even though a name is basically given to a person by chance, that chance is not free but is suited to the future. On rare occasions, specifically in regard to impactful people from whom emanate broadly based outcomes, the matter will be very noticeable. Regarding more private individuals, the matter is not as noticeable.

The way the Rabbis learned it out from “who places shamot” is marvelous, for one can always attribute deterioration and destruction to chance, which you cannot do for improvements and building. However, when we see that there is not utter destruction, for actually the most fearful turns of events sprout forth the biggest positive outcomes, then we know from the outset that the doings of Hashem include the shamot. Similarly, when the name is well-suited to the distant events of the future, we should realize that there was an invisible connecting factor that made the name fit that which it will demonstrate in the future. In that way, the imprint of the name and that which it demonstrates will be a help to bring the hidden powers to fruition at the appointed time.


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This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of Shirley, Sara Rivka bat Yaakov Tzvi HaCohen z”L
as well as

R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga      Brachfeld


Hemdat Yamim is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker

and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.


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