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November 1, 2014 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Vayera

One of the more obscure incidents in this coming week’s Torah portion is the story of Abimelech, king of Gerar.  Abraham goes to Gerar and tells the natives that Sarah is his sister rather than his wife, in order to protect himself in case any of the natives lust after her.  Abimelech takes Sarah, and is told by God in a dream to “restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee” (Gen. 20:7).

Rashi adds (according to Soncino): “Do not thank that … he will hate her and refuse to pray for you.”  In other words, if you make amends by giving him back his wife, he will pray for you.

It seems to me that Rashi is telling us a lesson that is good to remember only a few weeks after Yom Kippur.  If you have hurt someone’s feelings, it is easy to say to oneself “Things have already gone too far, so there is no point in me trying to make amends or to apologize.”  But Rashi is saying that if Abimelech makes amends, Abraham won’t just take his wife back, he will even pray for you!  So for the rest of us, we shouldn’t avoid apologies just because we think they might be futile.  (On the other hand, most people we offend aren’t Abraham, so our results may vary!)

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