Hebrew | Francais


> > Archive

Shabbat Parashat Balak | 5769

Ein Ayah: Concern for National and Global Success

(based on Berachot 1:174)


Gemara: Avram is Avraham. In the beginning, he became the father of Aram, and at the end, of the whole world. Saray is Sarah. In the beginning, she became the noblewoman of her nation, and at the end, of the whole world.


Ein Ayah: The feeling of nationalism is a straight and natural emotion. It is close to the level of the love of the family and exceeds it in its morality. Therefore, Avraham and Sarah, as people who were straight from their very essence, were concerned with the survival and success of their nation. We have found the same thing regarding other wise people with good personal attributes from all of the nations. However, Avraham and Sarah were elevated by the spirit of prophecy that told them that this is not the final desired result. Rather, the complete person does not suffice with the happiness of his nation alone but will try to bring general salvation to every person on the face of the earth. Therefore, Avraham became the father of many nations, and Sarah became a noblewoman of the whole world, which is a more exalted matter than to limit oneself to the national agenda.


Avraham and Sarah

(based on Berachot 1:176)


Gemara: [I would think that just as it is forbidden to call Avraham by the name Avram,] it should be forbidden to call Sarah by the name Saray. Yet, when switching the names, Hashem said “Saray, your wife, you shall not call her Saray, but Sarah is her name” (Beresihit 17:15). 


Ein Ayah: The pasuk says: “Listen, my son, to the rebuke of your father and do not abandon the Torah of your mother” (Mishlei 1:8). The true beliefs are called the rebuke of the father; the good actions and pleasant customs are called the Torah of the mother.

Nationalism is very necessary for Israel, and its essence is included in the actions of the various mitzvot, which increase and strengthen the powers of nationalism in Israel. However, the ultimate purpose is for the universal needs. That is why the beliefs are global in nature and the actions are specific and nationally based.

Avraham is the root of beliefs in Israel, as he shone the light from the east (see Yeshaya 41:2 and Bava Batra 15a). Therefore, we are absolutely obligated to call him based on the concept of his being the father of many nations, so that the truth, which could be lost due to our national isolationism, not be forgotten. On the other hand, we inherited from Sarah the holiness of the actions along the lines of the Torah of the mother. It is true that at the time of the patriarchs it was not yet possible to start on the building of national structures and the foundation of the actions also had to be for the purpose of global improvement, which is also their ultimate goal. However, for the generations of our nation, the intention of the actions is to beautify Israel’s special national sanctity in a manner that in the future will be helpful for the universal improvements. 

Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend


This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of

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.

site by entry.
Eretz Hemdah - Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. | Terms of Use.