In this week’s Torah Portion, Lech Lecho, the Torah tells us how Avrom went into battle in order to save Lot, his nephew. He was vastly outnumbered. The Torah tells us that “Avrom heard that his relative (Lot) had been taken captive. He armed the three hundred and eighteen trained men who were born in his house, and he chased them until Dan”. Rashi cites the words “three-hundred and eighteen,” and tells us that “our Sages said it was Eliezer alone, and 318 is the numerical value of his name.”
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.
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מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש
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DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris
חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס
. Our Parshah, Bereishis 14:14.
. Ibid, ibid, 15:1.
. Laws of Teshuvah, Chapter 10, 2.