Parshas Lech Lecha

Rabbi Gidon Goldberg's picture

Dear Parents,
I am writing this letter from Los Angeles, where I have been received kindly by so many people. They are always so impressed by what we are able to accomplish in a small school in the smallest state. I had the opportunity to speak at the Bais Yaakov High School here in LA, and I opened my remarks by saying: “When I arrive at school daily, we see 33 girls and today I speak to 330 girls.” I also had the opportunity to speak to Rabbi Burstyn to get his insights into the various seminaries in Israel.
This week’s parsha of Lech Lecha contains the famous Bris Bein Hab’sarim in which Hashem promises Avraham Avinu that his children will inherit the land of Israel. Avraham asks Hashem: “Bama aida ki irashena – how do I know that this is going to happen?” Upon hearing this, Hashem this tells Avraham that his question indicates a lack of total faith in Him; therefore, Avraham’s children will be forced into exile for 400 years. The Telzer Rosh Yeshiva, Reb Chaim Mordechai Katz, asks the following in his sefer Be’er Mechokek: Why is it that Avraham’s children get punished for his lack of faith? Why does he himself not receive punishment? After all, the sin belonged to Avraham. Not only that, but the mefarshim have good explanations and rationale for Avraham’s question.
The Rosh Yeshiva answers that Avraham was the paradigm of faith for the entire world. He was, as it were, building a very large building. The blueprints for a building can’t be altered can’t be altered even minutely without compromising the entire building. So too, this seeming failure of emunah on Avraham’s part—however minute—would result in a lack of emunah in the foundation of klal Yisrael. Experiencing yetzias Mitzrayim and all its accompanying nisim enhanced b’nei Yisrael’s emunah in a way that would compensate for Avraham’s seeming lack. The Rosh Yeshiva explains that the exile of Avraham’s children was not a punishment, but an opportunity to experience Hashem’s miracles in Mitzrayim to strengthen their emunah for the future.
As a school and as parents, we are tremendously fortunate to be able to transmit the heritage to our students and children with perfect faith. We can never underestimate the positive impressions that we and our children have on the world around us. People look at our dress and actions and they internalize the famous idiom that states “ashrei rabo shelimdo Torah – Blessed is the teacher that taught him Torah.”
May Hakadosh Baruch Hu give each and every one of us the strength as we are on the front lines as melamdei Torah l’amo Yisrael – teachers of Torah to the nation of Israel.
I offer a special Mazel Tov to my colleague and principal Harav Aaron and Rebbetzin Lapin on the engagement of their daughter Rochel and to the Goldens on Rochel’s upcoming marriage this Sunday. May we and the entire community share in many simchos together.

Good Shabbos
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman