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The Systems of the Jewish Year

"Soul Sacrifice" - Comments

1 HSGriffin on 2008 11 07

What a wonderful dvar Rabbi Haber.

2 Victor Sella on 2008 11 08

I am starting to understand this notion.

My brother is about to get married to the girl of his dreams. In the process of the wedding preparations he has persistently pushed away and reacted negatively to most familial interactions. We cannot understand why. My brother is the most important person in my life. For a long time I lost sleep and sulked over his reactions.

Despite my best efforts to understand and commiserate, I do not know why he is reacting as such. I do believe, often times despite my deepest emotions, that he needs to become his own man. And for as much as it may hurt me, I realize that giving him space will result in his happiness.

I do not know where this situation will end. I just hope it ends in happiness and peace.

3 Peakay on 2008 11 10

Rabbi Haber, I don’t understand this concept. Am I suppose to give up from my spiritual wellbeing to help another? If someone needs a friend and benefits from my company but she goes to bars at night and is doing drugs, I should hang out with her? I am very confused.


4 Yisroel Phillips on 2008 11 10


Could one possibly say that Avraham didn’t learn his lesson, which is why it took Sarah to make the decision that Yishmael should be sent away?

5 annie lederfeind on 2008 11 10

I think its important to note, that although Avraham did not have the spiritual “fulfillment” of having Hashem talk to him due to Lot’s’ presence, his spiritual level itself did not decline under Lot’s influence.  Avraham himself was still worthy of talking to Hashem, it was only Lavan’s presence that prevented it.  In the two scenarios presented above (the friend hanging out and Yishamel) both are threats to the level of spirituality itself of Yizchok and Peakay and therefore must be avoided.  Though I do not really understand the deep thought of this Dvar Torah, I do know that we can never do anything that will bring down or harm our spiritual level and observance of Mitzvos.

6 Yossi Shandelman on 2008 11 11

Rabbi Haber,

As always, a wonderful Dvar Torah.

The Sefer Shaarei Aharon on this posuk in Chumash mentions a Zohar (79:1) that says that Avrohom kept Lot close to him because he saw via Ruach HaKodesh (Divine Spirit) that Dovid HaMelech was destined to be born from Lot in the future (David descended from Rus the Moabite. Moav was the son of Lot).

I believe that Chazal teach us that the chesed that Lot learned from Avrohom Avinu protected him and earned him the ability to be saved and ultimately for Dovid HaMelech to descend from him.

I think that this reiterates Rabbi Haber’s point that Avrohom Avinu sacrificed his ruchnius now in order to assure a greater event in the future.

7 Tsivya on 2011 11 03

Curious: Why can’t a holy mikveh be built on the location where a holy shul once stood?  It seems like the perfect replacement.

8 Yehudah Griffin on 2011 11 03

Beautiful dvar Torah, Rabbi!

9 Yaakov Cohen on 2011 11 03

awesome. believe it or not, this word helps me cope with my current situation. thanks

10 Elchanan on 2011 11 04

Yasher Koach Rabbi Haber, Perhaps we can add to this concept the following story and insight.  The Mashgiach in the yeshiva of the Chafetz Chaim wanted to step down bec the job was taking away from his own avodas Hashem. But the Chofetz Chaim told him he should not. One must sometimes sacrifice his own growth to help others. As the Ramban explains the pasuk in Shema, U’vichal meodecha… M’iod means “very”. We have to be willing to sacrifice that which is very very dear to us. The Mashgiachs time and own growth was his “meodecha”.
This is the lesson of Avraham.

11 david on 2011 11 08

There is a similar idea found in Midrash Rabba about Aharon willing to do the golden calf in order that Clal Yisrael should not be the ones to do it.

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