Thursday, October 25, 2007

P' Vayeira: "shalom bayis" is not just for newlyweds

My wife has a few parsha posts this week (see here and here), including one on shalom bayis, which brought to mind a beautiful insight from the Sichos Mussar of R’ Chaim Shmuelevitz. The angels who appear in Avraham’s home inquire “Ayeh Sarah ishtecha”, where is Sarah and how is she doing? The Torah is not interested in recording the idle chatter between guest and host, but, as Rashi notes, the question had a purpose – “k’dei l’chabiva al ba’aleh”; in asking about Sarah’s welfare and inviting Avraham to speak about her, Sarah would be further endeared to her husband.

Remember, points out R’ Chaim Shmuelevitz, Avraham at this point was 99 years old and Sarah 90. They probably were well past there 50th wedding anniversary, and may have been past their 75th wedding anniversary. After living with someone for so many years one would imagine that Avraham could anticipate every thought that entered Sarah’s mind. Yet, we see there is still an inyan of “l’chabiva al ba’alah”! There is still more love that Avraham could find in his relationship with Sarah. Shalom bayis is not just something for newlyweds to work on; it is something that needs to be constantly worked on and developed.

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