Shabbat Parashat Vayeira | 5763
Vayeira | | 1/8/2003
The last parshiyot have dealt with the life of Avraham Avinu, father of our nation. The story of his life capsulizes, to a great extent, the story of the nation as a whole. When Avraham was 70 years old, Hashem promised him that his offspring would be liberated from slavery and exile after 400 years, and would leave with great riches (Bereishit 15:13-14). (The count of 400 began with the birth of Yitzchak and lasted until the liberation from Egypt- Rashi, see also Ramban and rishonim on Shemot 12:40).
We saw last time that Chazal wanted a father to feel comfortable providing a significant dowry for his daughter without fear that his wealth would be lost to his family upon his daughter’s death. The institution which rectifies the situation is known as ketubat banin dichrin.
The halacha is that when a father dies and leaves an inheritance, a son not only makes the mourner’s blessing, but also Shehechianu for receiving significant financial resources (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 223:2). We see that even when one event causes both sadness and happiness, and even when the sadness overpowers the happiness, we must still bless for the good. The good received is not swallowed up and, as if standing independently, requires thanks to Hashem. Thus, even according to your assumptions, one should thank Hashem for the gift of Jewish independence in its homeland of Eretz Yisrael, despite your disappointment.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).