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Dear Mogen David Family,

In the second Mishna of Pirkei Avot, Shimon HaTzadik famously used to say: Al Shelosha Devarim HaOlam Omed, the world stands on three things, Al HaTorah, Al Ha'avodah, V'al Gemillut Chassadim. 

These three foundations of the world are related to the three Avot, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, each of whom, as a “father” is also a foundation of the world.

Gemillut Chasadim is the unique trait of Avraham, who is well known for his hospitality towards guests and other deeds of kindness. The Micha HaNavi (7:20) tells us “Give truth to Yaakov and kindness to Avraham.”

Avodah is the unique trait of Yitzchak, who was prepared to have himself sacrificed on the altar, making him the pillar of service to Hashem.

Yaakov was the pillar of Torah, as we know from the pasuk in Parashat Toldot, “V’Yaakov ish tam, yosheiv ohalim” sitting in the tents of Torah study. The “truth” mentioned in the verse from Micha also refers to Torah study. His unique trait was “emet,” truth. 

The Ramban, in his introduction to Sefer Bereishit, notably tell us that the theme of the entire first Sefer in Chumash Chumashei Torah is 'Ma'aseh Avot Siman LaBanim.' Our Avot serve as prototypes or models of excellence for all future generations. It is interesting that of the three models the Torah begins with Avraham, the Ish Chesed. On the most basic level the Torah is conveying a deep and powerful message: first and foremost we must model our lives and actions after the Ish HaChessed--Avraham Avinu. 

As we begin our journey through Sefer Bereishit let us focus our energies on the Midda of Chessed, both in our homes and within the greater community. 

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Yehuda Moses Rav HaKehillah/Senior Rabbi




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Sun, October 17 2021 11 Cheshvan 5782