In this week’s Torah Portion, Lech Lecho, the Torah tells us how Avrom went into battle in order to save Lot, his nephew. Despite being vastly outnumbered, we read that he miraculously won the battle and saved his nephew.
Immediately after this, Hashem told Avrohom, “After these events, Hashem appeared to Avrom saying, ‘Do not be afraid. I am your Shield, and your reward is exceedingly great.’”
Rashi cites the words “after these events” and explains that “After this miracle, that he slew the kings, he was worried. He said, “Perhaps I have received reward for all my righteous deeds.” Therefore, Hashem said to him, “’Do not be afraid Avrom, I am your Shield’ from retribution. I will not punish you for all those you have slain. As far as your being worried about receiving reward, your reward is exceedingly great.”
This means that Avrom was concerned that after benefiting from such a great miracle, he had used up all of his merits and would not receive reward.
This is difficult to understand. The Rambam writes that “one who learns Torah and performs Mitzvos out of love for Hashem, does not do so for the sake of a reward. Rather he does so because it is the true path. This lofty level characterizes that of Avrohom Avinu.” This being the case, why was Avrom worried that he might not receive his reward?
One explanation is, that he did not want reward for his benefit. Rather, he wanted it in order to sanctify Hashem’s name in the world. He wanted to demonstrate to everyone that Hashem repays whomever fulfills His will with the greatest reward imaginable. In that manner Hashem’s name would be made great and sanctified in this world.
We should all take this lesson to heart. In this merit, we will surely merit the ultimate redemption through our righteous Moshiach.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 20, p. 45 ff.
DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE
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Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris
חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
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. See our Parshah, Bereishis, chapter fourteen.
. Ibid, ibid, 15:1.
. Laws of Teshuvah, Chapter 10, 2.