Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reb Pinchas of Koretz and challah

We are told in Bereishis Rabbah concerning this week's parsha, parshas Chayei Sara, that while Sara Imeinu was alive three things occurred in her house: a candle was alight from one erev shabbos to the next, a blessing was found in her dough, and a cloud was stationed over her home. In Imrei Pinchas, Reb Pinchas Koretzer comments that concerning the bracha in the dough this does not mean that a small amount of dough grew to giant proportions. Avraham was not short on money, and the dough wasn't lacking. Rather, it means that when the dough was baked it grew evenly, and into a resplendent, deliciously aromatic and delectable challah. And he says that it is a matter of intention. When a woman is happy and cheerful while baking the challah, and has the intention of it being lichvod shabbos, the loaf will come out of the oven pleasing to the senses. And, conversely, if she is grouchy and angry while baking the challah, it will come out of the oven burnt and unshapely. Such was the simcha and contentedness of Sara Imeinu that her dough was blessed.

The Beis Yisroel, the forth Gerrer Rebbe, notes that as is the case with Sara Imeinu in this week's parsha, the Torah always records the lives of tzaddikim in descending order, starting with hundreds, moving down to tens, and so on. The one exception, he says, is Yaakov Avinu, who lived "seven years and forty and a hundred years." The midrash also claims that he didn't actually die. Yaakov is often called "the chosen of the avos (patriarchs)" because of his lifelong striving for truth. The upward numerical progression in his age, says the Rebbe, reflects his constant spiritual "climb," which transcended death and continued until he reached the "upper worlds."

1 comment:

Tal Zwecker said...

Thanks for the stories