Liluei Nishmat Rebbetzin Henny Machlis
In the beginning of this week’s parsha the story of our people begins when God commands our forefather Avraham to leave his homeland behind and go to “ the land which I will show you” (Bereisheit 12:1). Our sages teach (see Pirkei Avot 4:3) that Avraham was tested by God ten times and this was one of those tests (the first or second of his tests there is a disagreement between Rashi and Rambam). Many commentators (especially Chasidish ones such as the Nesivos Shalom) explain that just like Avraham we to are tested by God at different points in our lives. These tests are both similar to Avraham or just tests we face in general from day to day.
According to many Chasidish commentators God telling Avraham Lech Lecha at the beginning of this week’s parsha can also symbolize not just Avraham leaving everything he has behind but a message to us go away from yourself or to improve yourself.
It is this deeper meaning of Lech Lecha which I feel is the one we should concentrate on during the times we are in and how we should approach the current situation in Israel. How should we put this into action? I feel it is best to concentrate our efforts on going beyond oneself by doing Chesed (acts of kindness for those around us). Not only is acting with kindness and love the act opposite of the stabbing and pain our enemies our causing our holy people but also Chesed is the main midda (or character trait) of Avraham Avinu.
Additionally, last Friday shortly before Shabbat, Rebbetzin Henny Machlis Z’’TL left this world. It was her, along with her husband that would have 100’s of guests over in their tiny apartment in Yerushalayim from all different parts of the Jewish world and even non-Jews every Shabbat (see http://www.aish.com/sp/so/Henny-Machlis-A-Truly-Great-Jewish-Woman.html just to get a better idea about how incredible this Tzaddeket was). It would therefore, each according to their own ability, be a beautiful thing to work to improve the chesed we show towards others in her memory.
There are many ways which we can show more chesed towards others. These acts of Chesed can be more directly related to the current situation (e.g. Davening for one of those recovering from being attacked), saying Tehillim for others, inviting guests for Shabbat if we don’t do so as regularly etc. May the Chesed we demonstrate strengthen ourselves and the entire Jewish people, may we go into a Shabbat of literal Shalom for all Jews in Israel and the world over and may we usher in the era of the Moschiach and the final redemption.
Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, Gut Shabbes-Gidon Herschander Mar Cheshvan,5776 Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh (the holy city of Jerusalem)!