Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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26 Adar II 5765 - April 6, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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HaRav Leib Baron Visits Midrash Shmuel

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Yeshivas Midrash Shmuel of Yerushalayim, under the leadership of HaRav Binyomin Moskovits, was recently privileged to be inspired by the wise words of the esteemed rosh hayeshiva of Yeshivas Mercaz HaTorah in Montreal, HaRav Aryeh Leib Baron. Rabbi Baron, a close friend of the yeshiva, learned in his youth in the Baranovitch yeshiva headed by Reb Elchonon Wassermann Hy"d. Indeed, Rabbi Baron developed a very close relationship with Reb Elchonon during his years in Baranovitch and tells many stories of this great rosh yeshiva and spiritual giant.

All were inspired by Rabbi Baron's words which emphasized on the Haggodoh. "Go out and learn what Lovon Ho'Arami tried to do to our father Yaakov . . . Lovon desired to uproot all," as the Haggodoh notes: "An Arami sought to destroy my father."

HaRav Baron asked two questions on this passage. First, why is only Lovon classified as he who "desired to uproot all"? Surely Eisov also wanted to kill Yaakov? Additionally, why does the baal Haggodoh use the expression "go out and learn"? Why is it necessary to "go out" in order to learn this?

HaRav Baron answered that although it is true that Eisov wanted to kill Yaakov, this animosity was purely on a personal basis. His intention was not to destroy an ideology or a way of life. He was angry with Yaakov because he felt that he had tricked him and he wanted revenge.

Lovon's attack on the other hand, was not a personal threat. He wanted to destroy the very ideas that Yaakov stood for.

We do not find clearly in the pesukim themselves that Lovon was a rosho. Yet the Torah says, "Arami oved ovi." Lovon wanted to destroy Yaakov because Yaakov opposed his idol worship. Lovon wanted to uproot this entire design from the world.

The fact that the Torah refers to Yaakov as "ovi — my father" proves just that. The gemora in the beginning of Bovo Kama says, "Ovos — michlal de'ikoh toldos — `Fathers' implies that there are children." By referring to Yaakov as our father, the Torah emphasizes that Lovon wanted to destroy the father specifically so that there would be no toldos from Yaakov Ovinu. Yaakov was building something that was against Lovon's convictions and Lovon wanted that building destroyed. Lovon did not want Yaakov to be the father of these ideas.

It is for this reason that the baal Haggodoh does not say Eisov wanted to uproot everything since he did not care about Yaakov's ideology. His hatred was merely personal.

Although Lovon was a rosho, sometimes we cannot comprehend this of our own accord. The baal Haggodoh tells us to go out and learn — go out in life and meet people. Some people give a very good initial impression but at the same time they are ready to kill. Learn from life experience what Lovon's essence really was.

The yeshiva thanked Rabbi Baron for coming and for his inspiring dvar Torah and words of chizuk, and wished him, Od yenuvune beseivoh deshainim vera'ananim yihiyu.


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