Thoughts from Kollel KLAL

Lech Lecha

The passuk states “ונברכו בך כל משפחות האדמה” which Rashi explains means, a person will say to his son, “you shall be like Avraham.” Onkelos translates differently, all the offspring of the land shall be blessed because of you. Similarly in Parshas Vayeira it states about Avraham “והתברכו בזרעך כל גויי הארץ” which Onkelos translates as “and all the nations of the land will be blessed because of you.” The Nesina LaGer explains with the Beraishis Rabbah, that rain and dew fall in the merit of the Avos. The Eitz Yosef adds that the Midrash brings rain and dew as examples but in truth all blessing will come in the merit of the Avos.

The Gemara brings different examples which reflect the merit of tzaddikim. When Rebbi Elyashiv died, robbers dug seventy tunnels in Neharda’ah to steal. Rashi explains while Rebbi Elyashiv was alive, robbers did not come to steal and people were protected in his merit. Only after he died, when his merit left and there was no more protection, did the robbers come to steal. When Rebbi Misharshia died, the palm-trees became loaded up with thorns. While Rebbi Misharshia was alive his merit protected the palm-tees from growing thorns. When Rebbi Avahu died the pillars of Kisri dripped tears. The Maharsha explains that the tzaddikim are the pillars which hold up the world. When they die the world is missing from its pillars and it is fitting to cry, as with Rebbi Avahu. When Rebbi Yosi died the gutters of Tzippori poured blood. The Maharsha explains that while he was alive, in his merit there were pipes of mercy which flowed from above and when he died it changed to flow blood reflecting middas hadin being brought into the world. When Rebbi Yaakov died, stars were seen during the day. The Maharsha explains that stars are in the sky during the day as well, however when the sun shines it lights up the sky and we cannot see the stars. On the day that Rebbi Yaakov died the day darkened earlier so that the stars were able to be seen in the sky like at night.


The Gemara brings that after Hurdus killed out all the Chachamim and left Bava Ben Zuta whom he blinded, he wanted to do teshuva. Hurdus asked Bava Ben Buta for advice, and he answered since Hurdus extinguished the light of the world and he blinded the light of the world, he should be involved in rebuilding the Bais HaMikdash which generates light to the world and is called “the desires of your eyes.” We see that the tzaddikim are considered the light and the eyes of the generation. Their Torah shines into the world and their eyes reflect advice for the generation.


The Gemara brings an apikores is one who says “How do the Rabbanan help us? They read pessukim for themselves and they learn for themselves.” Rashi explains that the people who say this do not know that the world continuously exists because of the tzaddikim. The Gemara asks, this is worse than just apikorsus, it is מגלה פנים בתורה, denying that which is written in Tanach. He denies that which is written “אם לא בריתי יומם ולילה חקות שמים וארץ לא שמתי.” “If not for My covenant of learning My Torah day and night, the heavens and earth I would not have set up.” Rashi explains the tzaddikim benefit the heaven and earth and enable its existence. They also deny that which states “ונשאתי לכל המקום בעבורם.” Avraham davened to Hashem to save the cities of Sedom and Amorah on behalf of the tzaddikim. We see that the tzaddikim help us tremendously.


May we recognize the enormous benefit of our tzaddikim and be blessed in their merit!

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