Thursday, November 3, 2011

Quality not Quantity

Firstly, let me let everyone know that, b"H, the book is finally almost ready to go to print! The cover and typesetting have been completed and we are just going through it very quickly to make sure that everything is in order. Keep your eyes open for it, hopefully it should be in stores in about a month or so!!!

In the Parsha we find that Avraham Avinu is informed by Hashem that his children will be comparable to the stars. Many commentators explain this to be a description of the characteristics of the children and not that it represents the number of offspring. Based on Rav Yehonasan Eibshitz's explanation I would like to offer the following short explanation.

Unlike planets which reflect the light of the sun, stars produce their own light. Due to processes of nuclear fusion happening in the center of the star, the entire star is illuminated and radiates brilliantly. So too, every member of Klal Yisrael shines in his own right. He is not shining because of "reflected light" from others, rather, he has a brilliant core that can brighten even the darkest places.

Additionally, from our perspective many of the stars are not visible. Many of them are too far from us and we are unable to perceive their light. Others have interstellar dust and debris that block their light from reaching us. This, too, is expressive of the inner beauty of the nishamos of Klal Yisrael. Even if they have strayed very far away and their glory cannot be seen on the outside, or if they have external inhibitions which do not allow for their light to be seen on the outside; nevertheless, their inner beauty is present and shines!

Lastly, in this week's Parsha, Avraham Avinu is told by Hashem to walk in front of Him and be perfect. The Rambam, Ramban, and many others explain that this perfection is the same mentioned by Hashem in Sefer Devarim when He commands Klal Yisrael to be perfect with Him. Included in that mitzvah is the commandment to refrain from predicting via astrology. The Rosh's son Rebbi Yehuda felt that this mitzvah represents the essence of the entire Torah and that the reason for the elongation of the exile is due to our lack of observance of this mitzvah. To understand why please feel free to
download a free copy of it here.


Anonymous said...

I am very happy to read about the progress of your book. I look forward to it! I did not note the title, etc.,please let us know when you can.

Yasher koach,


Ari S. said...

Of course, "The Secrets of the Stars."