Or Yahal: Lech Lecha: Guarding The Connection
In honor of the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yehuda Leib Chasman, mashgiach of Yeshivas Chevron (1869-1935). He learned in Kelm under Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziev, in Volozhin under the Netziv as well as that of the Rabbi Chaim Halevi Soloveichik of Brisk. In 1897, he was brought to serve as the Telz yeshiva’s Mashgiach. He established the independent Yeshiva in Shtutshin in 1908. In 1912, he was rabbi of Shtutsin. In his last years, he was the spiritual director of the Slabodka Yeshiva in Hebron and in Jerusalem. In 1926, he became mashgiach at Chevron. Author of Ohr Yahal. Among his talmidim was Rav Shlomo Schwadron.
“And Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I lift up my hand to God, the Highest Power, Maker of heaven and earth, if so much as a thread to a shoestrap, or if I shall take from anything of yours! So you shall not say, ‘It is I who made Abram rich.’” (Genesis 14:22-23)
Abram has just won a war of countless miracles, and the best reason he could give for refusing the king of Sodom was to prevent the king from taking credit for Abram’s wealth!
Abram understood the powerful connection that people have to their possessions, and that despite all the miracles he experienced, there was danger that Abram could fall in this battle: the evil inclination claiming credit for his success.
This is the nature of a human being, to forget his spiritual connections and lose himself in his physical wealth and success. Abram’s response is a reminder to all of us to protect ourselves from this trap. Or Yahal – Lech Lecha