Archive for November 2014


This article was constructed with the help of either writings, lectures or shiurim of Rabbi’s , Yissachar Frand, Lenny Bromberg, Yossi Bilus, Aaron Tendler, David Hochberg, Pinchas Avruch  and
Dr. Abba Goldman, also Mr. Emanuel Aminov
 Har Nof
Passion can be construed in many ways. We saw this past week the ugly side of passion, a passion based on hate, where the evil Arabs MACHSHEMAM butchered our brethren in a Bet Haknesset in Har Nof, Israel. However, it can be very complex, as we will see from  recent current events.
A doctor,  Craig Spencer, in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea became the first person in the city to test positive for the virus.
 Dr. Spencer recalled that in his five weeks in West Africa, “I cried as I held children who were not strong enough to survive,” but that he also had celebrated with those who were cured and “invited me into their family as a brother.”
Spencer posted a photo of himself on Facebook wearing protective gear and wrote, “Off to Guinea with Doctors. Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history.”
New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center said in a statement that Spencer “went to an area of medical crisis to help a desperately underserved population. He is a committed and responsible physician who always put his patients first.”
Seventy percent of Ebola cases in West Africa are fatal, but eight of the nine people treated in the United States have recovered. Dr. Bassett said a key reason was the labor-intensive job of managing body fluids and replenishing lost blood, allowing the body’s own defenses to kill the virus.
 However, what tends to happen at times, when one does a passionate good deed, we learn in King Solomon’s  Mishlei; Passion can blind you; it blinds the smartest people. Once you think you’ve scored brownie points, one thinks he has a licence to do whatever he wants.
 Spencer didn’t follow protocol. He lied to the police and told them he didn’t go anywhere when he arrived back. He actually went to few parties. He did not care that he might be carrying the infectious disease.
Passion – strong and barely controllable intense  emotion, compelling enthusiasm or desire for anything.  It’s a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing.
Dr. Craig Spencer had a passion!!  He left his job  as a doctor at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, a prestigious job in the medical field, to travel to West Africa and risk his life to treat a deadly virus.
Passion, sometimes even momentary, can change ones life, sometimes in a drastic way. Doctor Goldman, Psychologist at Yeshiva Chaffetz Chaim said that President Bill Clinton’s affair with his aid Monica Lewinsky not only had a very negative effect on his legacy, but a rippling damaging reaction on a country. Reports indicate that his cabinet and staff lost faith in his ability to command. As result, they became lethargic in their duties. They felt betrayed defending their leader who then without informing them confessed to the country of his misdeeds. This is all in result of moments of perhaps passion, or perhaps just flimsy moment of desires.
Passion can change a life time of achievements.   Our forefather Yaacov had an evil brother, Eisav, however he had one virtue, one good deed, that he passionately performed most of his life. In fact many Torah Scholars marveled  at his performance  and encourage us to emulate this one mitzvah, which he did. He honored his father to the highest level.  The Torah tells us that Yitzchak loved Eisav. And Eisav loved him back. He respected his father and served him faithfully. The Sages even deem  his act of “honoring parents” greater than that of his brother Yaakov’s. And so Yitzchak requested Eisav to “go out to the field and hunt game for me, then make me delicacies such as I love, and I will eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die” (Genesis 27:3-4). Yitzchak wanted to confer the blessings to him. Eisav won his father’s regard. And even when Esav found out that his brother, Yaakov beat him to the blessings, he did not yell at his father,  “How did you let him do that?!” All he did was “cry out an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me too, Father!” (ibid v.34). Yitzchak finds some remaining blessing to bestow upon his older son, but the grudge does not evaporate. What troubling  is not the anger of defeat or the desire for revenge, rather the way Eisav expressed it. “Now Esau harbored hatred toward Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau thought, “May the days of mourning for my father draw near, then I will kill my brother Jacob.” “May the days of mourning for my father draw near” Think about it. How did the love for a father turn into the eager anticipation of his death?

Passions overrule sanity. They even overtake years of love and commitment. When one is enraged, he can turn against his best friend, his closest ally, and even his own parents! Eisav, who spent his first 63 years in undying adulation of his father, changed his focus in a burst of emotion. Now, instead of worrying about his father’s fare, he awaited the day of his farewell. All in anticipation of the revenge he would take on Yaakov.
When passions perverse our priorities, and obsessions skew our vision, friends become foes and alliance becomes defiance. In the quest for paranoiac revenge, everyone is an enemy even your own parents. But mostly your own self.

  Furthermore, Eisav married his uncle Yishmael’s daughter, an act that his parents favored, however, he did not divorce his two wives which his parents greatly disapproved.  Seemingly, his passion for those women were still burning.
  One of the most famous and endearing story line in our Torah is the one when Avraham is commanded to sacrifice his son. At the end, though, G-d withdrew his command to slaughter his son. Sforno  explains “instead of his son: in exchange for that which was in his heart to offer his son, a ram was then brought. Avraham had  to maintain the faithfulness to that which he had previously committed in his heart.” Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler finds this amazing: G-d gave Avraham the command to bring Yitzchak (Isaac) up on the altar as a test, for just as G-d had commanded Avraham to bring him, he was commanded to remove him. There is a strong determination to perform an act of passion and Avraham viewed this act as a spiritual opportunity.  Once one initiates  an act of passion and enthusiasm, it’s very hard to stop.The “commitment” that Avraham made to bring his son as an offering was in error, a colossal misunderstanding. Nevertheless, notes Rabbi Dessler in Sforno’s words, without an alternative vehicle with which to serve G-d, Avraham would have been dishonest to his commitment to serve. Indeed, Rashi explains that the ram was “instead of his son” because Avraham literally requested that G-d view each act – from the slaughter through each subsequent step – as if it was performed in his son’s stead. Rabbi Dessler notes that Avraham was correlating every action to his original intent and commitment. That even though he was absolved by nothing less than a Divine decree, Avraham was concerned with fulfilling his “obligation”.
Why such a burning passion? Because Avraham realized that this was not simply some contractual obligation that was now moot because the contract was revoked. This was the ultimate of Avraham’s Divine trials. But these trials did not test Avraham’s G-d consciousness, they FORGED it. This opportunity was presented to Avraham to allow him to transcend his human condition and offer his entire future to G-d in His service. Avraham very keenly appreciated this unparalleled opportunity and knew he was bound to follow through. And G-d agreed, such that He built this parallel chance into Creation.
 The  Satan, though,  was also rather aware of this unique circumstance, for it was he who entangled  the ram’s horns in the bushes to brake the momentum and defuse the passion of Avraham.
  Passion can be powerful and sometimes has to be curtailed. The book of Devarim, the last of the 5 books of the Torah, is replete with warnings against idolatry, but perhaps the parashah in which the repetitiveness is most obvious is Parashas Va’etchanan. Dozens of pesukim – including nearly one third of the pesukim in the second rendering of the Ten Commandments – contain numerous admonitions not to serve idols.
Nowadays, these warnings seem unnecessary.  Almost no sane humanbeing today has any interest in worshiping a graven image of any sort. In fact, it seems strange to us that anyone ever had such a passion.

Truthfully, our utter disinterest in idol worship is not a credit to our advanced, developed intelligence or our purer faith in G-d. The Anshei Knesses HaGedolah, a group of 120 sages, some of the greatest Torah scholars ever, convened during the era of the second Temple and determined that the inclination to serve idols was too strong for mankind to withstand. The Talmud (Yoma 69b) relates how the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah captured the yetzer hara-evil inclination for idolatry and destroyed it.
We can still have an idea of how strong the inclination for idolatry was before they conquered it. The Talmud tells us that the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah was encouraged by their success in conquering one of the two major passions of mankind, so they decided to turn their sights on the other major passion: the inclination for promiscuity.
When the sages succeeded in capturing the passion for promiscuity, however, they came to the realization that if they destroyed this passion people would no longer procreate, so they released it.
We are all aware of how difficult it is to control the inclination for licentiousness. Our Sages teach us that people once had an equal passion to serve idols.
 So, the Chachamim dissolved a major passion but left us with another. G-d created an extremely powerful attraction and passion between the sexes. It exists and cannot be ignored. The Rabbis explain that G-d did this in order to perpetuate the human race. Without desire and attraction, people would not reproduce and the world would remain desolate. Therefore, He created this intense desire between men and women.
 Here is one scenario where people for the most part are vulnerable, the workforce. One is especially vulnerble when there are bumpy roads in the marriage. For the most part one can say, who doesn’t have bumpy moments in their marriage. Mind you can develop in a crowded office environment but once one is alone with the other, that stuation can accelerate the passion.
You may like her. She may like you. Obviously, both of you have lines that you will not cross when it comes to inappropriate behavior. You have self-respect and know that you will keep to those guidelines. You know that you would not be able to look at yourself in the mirror the next day if you crossed your line, whatever your particular line may be. Now, all of a sudden, you find yourself alone with him or her. You glance at each other. The attraction and desire is there. No one is around and no one will know. Everyone has a vulnerable moment. What will you do? Will you cross your line? How far? How will you feel the next day? What will it feel like, knowing that your line, your boundary that you always said you wouldn’t cross, has just been violated?
Some of you may be say, I am stronger than that and will never cross my line, no matter what. That may be true, but lets ask ourselves something: Which requires greater self-control; controlling yourself when you are never alone together or controlling yourself when you are alone in a room with him or her AND the attraction is there? The Torah is providing you with a boundary that does not require superhuman self-control on your part. It is protecting you from moments of vulnerability, when you may do something you may feel badly about later. Don’t be alone together. Let’s be honest here. It is a lot more difficult to control yourself from acting inappropriately when you are alone together than when you aren’t. Don’t put yourself in the position where you have to rely on greater self-control. Don’t play near the edge of a cliff. True, nothing may happen, but why take the risk? Don’t forget, you have to face yourself in the mirror tomorrow. Make it easy on yourself.
 We learn something valuable from Yaacov, our forefather. Yakov’s blessing to Shimon and Levi as he lay on his deathbed was intended as directive, not just critical. Shimon and Levi had displayed enormous devotion and courage in defending the honor of the family, even if it was misguided. They decieved and destroyed the entire city of Shechem avenging the rape of their sister Dina. Yakov’s “blessing” of Shimon and Levi was intended to direct that same devotion and courage into constructive channels. As the Pasuk says, “Into their conspiracy I will not enter, with their congregation I will not join.” (49:6) Because they did not first seek Yakov’s advice and direction, he would not have anything to do with their actions. However, if Yakov’s teachings and truth would direct their passion and strength, they would be indispensable to the nation’s survival.
 Passion, at times, can be channeled in the right way. One has to realize the power of it. In a moment, one can act on it and regret a life time. Passion, if used right, can elevate one to a lofty level. The key is to be aware of our feeling  as well as anticipate what we will be feeling when we will be faced with life challenges!

Important tips before marriage

This article was constructed with the help of either writings, lectures or shiurim of Rabbi’s ,Baruch Doppelt, Yossi Bilus, Noach Isaac Oelbaum and Dr. Abba Goldman

Who doesn’t like going to a wedding? We all do, but why? For one, we are supporting the union of two people; it’s a start of a new family. That’s exciting!! Secondly, we have a chance, if we come early enough, to enjoy the delicacies at the smorgasbord.  Some of us have it planned, by knowing the caterer before hand, what food station to go to first when arriving at the hall (Meisner’s meatballs, Letterman’s shishkabob). Furthermore, in our hectic habitual lifestyle we have a chance to see our friends and have a good time.

 Let me ask you a personal question, have you ever gotten emotional at the wedding ceremony – the chuppah. When I was younger I would always try to hide my emotions even though, I must say, some chuppahs were touching. However, I could not let my guard down, I felt it would ruin my manly image. As time passed on, the manly image didn’t seem very important anymore. Today, I look at that as sheer nonsense. Seeing the chattan and kallah brings to light a certain thrill of humanity. As time moves forward, it’s inevitable that one has seen  his measure of pain and anguish in the course of his existence and watching a beautiful moment of life brings out an abundance of joy in us through tears.
We recite seven brachot in honor of the chattan and kallah at the chuppah. It seems like our Sages devised these blessings in a way that it is just that, blessings. We have to understand what they mean and be aware of its strong implications. For example, an obvious question is found in bracha 5 and 6:. שַׂמַּח תְּשַׂמַּח רֵעִים הָאֲהוּבִים, כְּשַׂמֵּחֲךָ יְצִירְךָ בְּגַן עֵֽדֶן מִקֶּֽדֶם: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְ-יָ, מְשַׂמֵּֽחַ חָתָן וְכַלָּה. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְ-יָ אֱלֹהֵ-ינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה, חָתָן וְכַלָּה, גִּילָה רִנָּה דִּיצָה וְחֶדְוָה, אַהֲבָה וְאַחֲוָה שָׁלוֹם וְרֵעוּת, מְהֵרָה יְ-יָ אֱלֹהֵ-ינוּ יִשָּׁמַע בְּעָרֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְחוּצוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָיִם, קוֹל שָׂשׂוֹן וְקוֹל שִׂמְחָה, קוֹל חָתָן וְקוֹל כַּלָּה, קוֹל מִצְהֲלוֹת חֲתָנִים מֵחֻפָּתָם, וּנְעָרִים מִמִּשְׁתֵּה נְגִינָתָם: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְ-יָ, מְשַׂמֵּחַ חָתָן עִם הַכַּלּ
6)Grant abundant joy to these loving friends, as You bestowed gladness upon Your created being in the Garden of Eden of old. Blessed are You L-rd, who gladdens the groom and bride
7)Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who created joy and happiness, groom and bride, gladness, jubilation, cheer and delight, love, friendship, harmony and fellowship. L-rd our G-d, let there speedily be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and the sound of happiness, the sound of a groom and the sound of a bride, the sound of exultation of grooms from under their chupah, and youths from their joyous banquets. Blessed are You L-rd, who gladdens the groom with the bride.
There is a question – what’s the difference or the meaning behind blessing  #6 which ends with “who gladdens the groom and -(VEH) the bride” as appose to in blessing #7  “gladdens the groom with-(IM) the bride”.  If the Sages make a distinction between the two,  “the VEH” in blessing #6 -and ….”with-IM” in blessing #7. Our Sages are very meticulous and thought conscience in what they write. One could rest and be sure that any scripture that is produced for prayers and blessings is cleverly devised..
 The Sages are teaching us a very important insight in marriage. In order to make your
bride – Kallah happy, one must first be happy himself. Only when he has shalom and tranquility with his state of mind, can he make another content.
It is noteworthy, too, that the Torah sets the standard of loving others using the self as the yardstick. Where do we find, asks the Sefat Emet, that there is a mitzvah to love oneself, that we are then commanded to love others to the same degree? And if indeed loving oneself is not a “mitzvah,” only an instinctive part of human nature, then how can the Torah use self-love as a benchmark by which to measure our love for our fellow man?
Perhaps the Torah is affirming one of the very basic tenets of psychology and human nature: The self-hater is not capable of feeling true love for others. In other words, it is not so much that self-love is a benchmark for loving others; it’s a prerequisite. In this context, when we speak of self-love, what we really mean is having a positive self-image, or what is today known as self-esteem.
So if the prerequisite for a happy marriage is being happy, one of the key elements having a happy marriage is found in this weeks parsha.
Finding a life partner is always a difficult task. I can be a witness to that being a frequent and reluctant participant in the New York Jewish frum singles scene. Often it felt grueling and humiliating attending those events. It was a tremendous pleasure to tell the matchmaker when they called to ask me if I want to date a certain girl, to take me off your list because I’m engaged!!!.  But imagine how much more difficult it must have been for Abraham to find a wife for his son – Isaac in ancient Canaan. The entire world was pagan except for Abraham, his family and a small group of his followers. Where was he to find a girl who would readily abandon her culture and embrace the Jewish way of life?
As we read in this week’s portion, Abraham sends his retainer Eliezer to Syria to seek out a wife among the other branches of his family. Eliezer arrives at his destination bearing gifts for the prospective bride and somewhat daunted by his mission. Standing beside the well in the town square, he prays to G-d that he be allowed to find a proper mate for Isaac.
Eliezer seems prepared for a grueling search, but lo and behold, no sooner does he finish praying that Rebecca instantly appears. She meets all the criteria for character and background.
There are certain parshiot in the Torah that are benchmarks for particular important  topics. Parshat Vayera is for harmony of marriage.  Vayeshev, Miketz and  Vayigash prone to envoke discussions of leadership. When parshat Chayeh Sarah came, many singles would flock to Rav Pam Shabbat afternoons lecture because they knew he, like many Rabbis would, talk about how to find the right  mate.
We know that Yitzchak had the characteristic of gevura-judgement. He had  a tremendous fear of G-d. That was his claim to fame. He was also quite personality, quite the opposite of his charismatic outgoing father. It’s funny how he was named Yitzchak-laughter. This is someone who was apparently “very serious” about life. His character certainly did not agree with his name. However, Rabbi Dopelt says “when one has the proper fear of G-d and is channeled correctly, he is so confident that everything comes from G-d, where any annoyance, bad omen that is presented in the course of ones life and marriage, for sure, is part and parcel of ones experiences, will not bother him. He will be in complete control knowing that it is G-d that is in control. When we say “fear of G-d”, the benchmark  is Yitzchak. For this reason, the Akeda, was Avraham, his father’s test and not his. One who’s characteristic is Gevura-judgment will not flinch at the prospect of sacrificing something so dear for G-d. Avraham’s character, on the other hand, was kindness, the antithesis of the Akeda. The frame of mind that Yitzchak had as a result of having the highest level of fear produced serenity and calmness which automatically spilled over to his marriage. The reason is, again, whatever happens in life is G-d sent.
 Rivka, as we study in the parsha, was crowned “wife of Yitzchak” because of the kindness she did with Eliezer. She passed his test, earned her stripes as kindness worthy to be in the house of Avraham.
Doctor Goldman says, if one has gone through psychological pain and is absorbed in agony, discomfort and depression they, for the most part,  will not be able to be reaching out to others. A giving person on the caliber of  Rivka had to have a makeup of  well put together person.
 There are 2 parts to the famous statement that the great scholar, Hillel, said  ” If I don’t take care of myself – no one will”, the second part “if the focus is myself – then what am I?”. The two statements go hand in hand, one has to be in peace with himself because, then, his task will be to take care of others.
 Rabbi Yossi Bilus attended a while back a lecture by Rav Pam on Chayeh Sarah. He tells over a powerful lesson that made an imprint on his life.
 Many times people date with hopes to find their partner in life. Many times people think they’ve graduated from “hoping to find” to “it’s happening”; “I’ve found my match”. They’re thinking – how many kids they are going to have and where to live. However, a short time later, the other party walks away not interested, leaving the person devastated and doomed. There are those that never get over the hurt.
 Eliezer is sure that he found Yitzchak’s mate to such an extent that the minute he seesRivka, he showers her with jewelry. But then he says something peculiar as later he meets Rivka’s family to discuss terms. In chapter 24 pasuk 49 he says ” And now if you want to do kindness and are interested – tell me if not I will turn to the right or left”. In other words, if you’re interested, great, if not I will look elsewhere. Wait!!! isn’t she the one!!! You put on her all that jewelry!! You anointed her “a wife for Yitzchak”!!   All that kindness, WOW!!! However, we see if it’s not working out, it seems like it’s not what G-d wants and we, no matter how sure we were, no matter how perfect it seemed,  have to move on!!
My mother would always say to me when I was dating, “every pot has a cover”. It was reassuring words. However, in order for that to happen, we have to be in peace with ourselves. We have to have the right frame of mind to make the great big step. We also have to let go of the ghosts in our heads of what it would have been like if the other party would have stayed. That was the past; we must look forward.


If one wants to succeed in life its important to have….

This article was constructed with the help of either writings, lectures or shiurim of Rabbi’s  Akiva Grunblatt, Yissachar Frand,Baruch Doppelt, Yossi Bilus,  Eliyahu Hoffman, Naftali Reich and Dr. Abba Goldman

It’s always uneasy and difficult when children don’t see eye to eye with their father and mother. It’s even more horrific and crazy when the children actually rebel against them and try to kill their parents; that’s a pretty nightmarish thought!!. Unfortunately, in our illustrious rich Jewish history a regrettable incident of that nature occurred. Avshalom wanted to overthrow his father, King David, and take over the kingdom. Avshalom meant business and drove his father out of Jerusalem. King David took refuge from Avshalom’s forces beyond the Jordan River having being put in a disadvantage position.
War is war and spies are a part of war as weapons are. In fact one can say spies are a vital weapon as any. David took the precaution of instructing a servant, Hushai, to infiltrate Avshalom’s court and subvert it. Hushai convinced Avshalom to ignore Ahithophel’s advice to attack his father while he was on the run, and instead prepare his forces for a major attack. This gave David critical time to prepare his own troops for the coming battle.
 It’s pretty apparent G-d was on David’s side because Ahithophel, who was considered one of the smartest men that ever live, was a sure bet when he advised. One can take his advice to the bank.
So the question is asked, how did Hushai do it?  How did he convince Avshalom over the logic and reputation of Achitofel?
There is an old expression:  When you have truth on your side – pound on the truth! When you have the law on your side – pound on the law! When you have neither….. POUND ON THE TABLE!
Hushai screamed out!!  He was temperamental, passionate and emotional. There was no logic and substance to his argument; he was just enthusiastically  charged. His apparent display  convinced Avshalom to follow his advice which eventually led to his downfall.
 After Avshalom made a decision to take Hushai advice, Ahithofel knew he was doomed; he knew Avshalom would lose. Ahithofel committed suicide.
What was so appealing to Hushai’s approach?
 Let’s examine an important aspect of human nature by looking into this weeks parsha.
An important  and puzzling observation is brought out about Avraham, our forefather. G-d reveals why he loved Avraham so much. We learn, it’s because Avraham possessed the uncanny ability to pass down the word of G-d quite successfully to the next generation. This is quite a revelation considering Avraham’s famous reputation in performing kindness. Furhtermore Avraham was the first one to discover G-d and he did it all by himself. Those are heavy duty credentials; those are big time browny points on the resume. However, it was the passing down the good word to his children and students that was the convincing soft spot in G-d’s heart.
What was the method he used? How was he so convincing?

I think, we would be able to understand a bit more of Avraham’s success by looking at a thought from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, one of the leading Rabbis in America in the early part of 1900’s. He said ” one may be dismayed why so many of the generations that followed the migration from Eastern Europe to America did not keep Shabbat. Why were so many of American Jewish youth not Shabbat observers? Times were tough and it was mandatory to work on Saturday, in the early part of the century; however, many refused. That decision begot devastating results,  for most lost their jobs and the rest were at the mercy of their bosses. One would think that since these precious Jews made such sacrifices their children would notice the value of the Shabbat. Wouldn’t they realize how important it meant to their parents and therefore consider it vital to keep? ….Apparently, that wasn’t so.

 Rabbi Moshe says, the answer can be found in the Torah and we say the phrase in the kiddush and various times during the Shabbat. V’SHAMRU B’NAI YISRAEL ET HASHABBAT, LA’ASOT ET HASHABBAT L’DOROTAM-and the children of Israel observed the Shabbat, they did-observed the Shabbat for generations. Rabbi Moshe relates “It’s HOW they observed. Let me rephrase that, it’s what their attitude was when they observed. If they observed with the mindset “we sacrificed a lot and are devastated”. Then the children would look at their parents’ negative disposition towards Shabbat and always remember being observant as agonizing! However, if one feels enthusiastic and makes the Shabbat experience happy, then the kids would feed off the warmth and positive attitude!
 There was a famous Rabbi who was asked “how is it that your children are not as observant as you?”. He answered ” because I didn’t sing Shabbat songs at the Shabbat table”. There is a certain joy and enthusiasm associated with singing and it’s a tremendous weapon to enhance the Shabbat and that was lacking at my Shabbat table, he said. It’s not just the intellectual aspect of Judaism. We need an emotional injection as well.
 Let’s examine how the Torah describes Avraham’s actions and attitude. If one notices the word V’YEMAHER – “and he hurried”  is used a number of times. Furthermore the scripture says ” and Avraham got up early in the morning. All this denotes Avraham had a tremendous energy and zeal. However, it also says that he saddled his own donkey. Why would a man of his age and affluence saddle his own donkey? Rashi says “this is sign that Avraham did many of his tasks with enthusiasm”.
Perhaps Avraham was a man of haste; maybe he was a spur of the moment type of guy. A verse regarding the Akeida [the sacrifice of Isaac] says, “On the third day Avraham lifted his eyes and saw the place from a distance” [22:4]. The Medrash Tanchuma asks “why G-d waited until the third day, and did not show the place to Avraham on the first or second day”. The Medrash answers: “The purpose of waiting three days was so that the nations should not think that Avraham was seized by a momentary frenzy, in which he was overcome by emotion and did not have time to reflect on what he was doing. Avraham Avinu had plenty of time to think about the Akeida. For three days he walked and thought it over. But that was Avraham. He was not a flighty man of emotion whose spirit grabbed him for the moment.

This was not the case with our Patriarch Avraham. The pasuk is telling us that Avraham was not merely the type of person who rushed into something on the spur of the moment. His enthusiasm maintained itself beyond the stage of the knee-jerk reaction. Even upon reevaluation — giving the situation a second look, so to speak — he remained determined to offer kindness and hospitality. His attribute of kindness emerged not only from emotion (the first sighting) but from rational consideration, as well (the second sighting).

How many of us remember getting really excited and enthusiastic about something. That’s a childhood frequent occurrence and, frankly, I truly miss that feeling. I remember when my son was about three years old, how he would get excited for the littlest thing.
I read this beautiful poem I would like to share:
A child’s enthusiasm comes in a storm,
taking over the child’s entire world.
That is why, when a child embraces a new, good trait,
it enters forever.
Interestingly there was a meeting between Malchi Tzedek, the elder statesman and one well respected in his generation,  with Avraham where bread and wine was emphasized at their meal.
Bread, is only good when it’s fresh. But go to your local vintner, and ask him for a “good fresh bottle of wine,” and watch him cringe in utter distaste. Ask any Frenchman worth his baguette: A fresh-baked loaf of bread, and a chilled bottle of aged wine, these are the components of any gourmet meal. The fresher the bread, and the older the wine, the more the palate takes delight. The Torah describes Avraham in his older years: “And Avraham was old – he had come with his days. (Bereishis 24:1)” This means, that Avraham brought the days of his youth with him into his elder. Normally, youth carries with it the advantage of energy and enthusiasm. As one gets on in his years, he loses the vigour of his youth, but is graced with the wisdom and maturity that come with age. Rare is the individual who can retain the vitality of his youth even as the candles on his proverbial birthday cake fruitfully multiply. Yet, this was exactly what Avraham achieved. While by no means a youngster, he served G-d with the freshness and enthusiasm usually reserved for those still wet behind the ears. As a tribute to this unique combination of youth and age, Malchi-Tzedek served bread and wine, two foods that possess the opposite qualities of freshness and maturity, yet together form a meal pleasing to even the most refined tastebuds.

The story is told of a carpenter who was a master of his craft. He worked diligently for his company throughout his life, earning a wonderful reputation for his skill. Upon reaching retirement age, he informed his boss that he was ready to retire and draw upon his pension for his future salary. His boss implored him to carry out just one more project for him; to build an elegant mansion and to spare no expense in furnishing it. The boss then presented him with a vast sum of money with which to create a dream home.
The carpenter reluctantly acquiesced to his boss’s request but his heart was not really in his work. He would have preferred to start retirement as he had planned. His mind was constantly preoccupied with his vacation plans that he and his wife had carefully worked on. His usual expert work was below standard and in no way reflected his skills.
The wood he selected was of poor grade and the moldings were cheap and commonplace, not cut to perfection. At the conclusion of his work his boss appeared at the worksite for a tour of the home. As they began to tour the finished building together, the boss noted in disappointment the sloppy workmanship and the places where the builder had cut corners by substituting cheap inferior materials for those of better quality.
As they finished the tour, the boss turned to his worker and presented him with the keys to the house. “This home that you have built is a gift to you from the company,” he said, ” in recognition of all your years of devoted service.”
The carpenter was flabbergasted. Regret flooded through him as he realized the opportunity he had squandered. Had I only known that his house was meant for me, I would have done everything so differently, he thought. How could I have shortchanged myself so?
All too often we give to various charities and engage in worthy causes out of a sense of obligation. This may be praiseworthy but it will not secure us the ultimate blessing when we give of ourselves with genuine love and go beyond the call of duty.
Only then can we be assured that we are gracing our eternal home with accouterments and furnishings that reflect our true ability and worth and that we will enjoy for eternity.
One practical lesson we can use to spur our personal growth is to realize that in applying our energies to our life mission and our most important relationships, we must reach as high as we can. Like our forefather Avraham, we should not be satisfied with carrying out our minimum obligations.
Only when we invest true love and genuine dedication in a relationship will we attain a lasting, genuine bond. In order to succeed in life its important to have enthusiasm.