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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Chayei Sara

Parashat Chayai Sara

"On no account shall you take my son back there"

Avraham emphasizes: “On no account shall you take my son back there!” Yitzchak must remain in the land of Israel; Why was Avraham so adamant? ;
3090
Dedicated to the memory of
Amram son of Sultana
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Avraham commissions his trusted servant Eliezer to seek a fitting wife for his son Yitzchak. After hearing all the instructions, Eliezer turns to his master with the quintessential question: "What if I find the ideal bride, a kallah with alle malles, but her single request is that she and her husband set up their new home close to her family?" Not once but twice, Avraham emphasizes: "On no account shall you take my son back there! " Yitzchak must remain in the land of Israel.

Why was Avraham so adamant? Surely a committed Jew like Yitzchak would be able to set up a community with all the necessary institutions and live a full Jewish life in Mesopotamia!

We are told that when Ya’akov descended to Egypt, he sent his son Yehudah ahead lehorot lefanav Goshnah, "to show the way before him to Goshen" (Bereishit 46:28). The Midrash, as quoted by Rashi, comments on these words: "To set up a house of study from which instruction would issue forth."

The Jewish people in all their wanderings demonstrated their unique ability to establish communal institutions within a short time. Look at the American Jewish community with its magnificent yeshivot, day schools, synagogues, and mikva’ot - thriving Orthodox communities rarely seen in past generations.

Yet even today, Avraham would not be swayed. His words would again ring forth, "On no account shall you take my son back there! " Generations later, the Rabbis of the Mishnah imposed the status of ritual impurity on all lands outside Israel. Their reasoning was simple. In the Golah, Torah study may be profound, prayer may be intense, charitable behavior may be significant. Over all these wonderful elements, however, there hovers an oppressive cloud of foreign values and influence that spreads its insidious poison into our spiritual lives and those of our children.

Only in Israel does the possibility exist, difficult as it may be, to create an all-encompassing world of Torah for ourselves, our children and generations beyond.

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