In this week’s mamar we discuss the first meeting between Rivka & Yitzchak. The posuk says: “And Rivka looked up and beheld Yitzchak, and she fell off of the camel. . . And she said to the slave (Eliezer): ‘Who is that man walking in the field toward us?’ The slave answered: ‘He is my master.’” Rashi comments: “she saw that he was magnificent and was amazed by his face.”
The Megaleh Amukos poses a glaring question. Are we to believe that Rivka , one of the four mothers of Klal Yisruel, was in the habit of inquiring after young men? Rather, explains the Megaleh Amukos, based on a midrash that immediately following the incident of the akeidah, Yitzchak left this world and spent the next three years in Gan Eden. For, at the time of the akeidah, he was thirty-seven years old; when he married his soul-mate, our matriarch Rivka, he was forty years old. In those three years that are unaccounted for he was in Gan Eden.
The Megaleh Amukos continues to explain: When Rivka met Yitzchak he was returning to this world from his three year sojourn in Gan Eden; therefore, she witnessed a light and a brilliance emanating from a kedushah that was beyond this world. This prompted her to inquire: “Who is that man walking in the field toward us?” Indeed, that was Yitzchak returning, at that moment, from Gan Eden; of course, he possessed a splendor and a radiance that was not of this world. This is what is meant when it says: “Rivka looked up and observed Yitzchak exiting from Gan Eden; she was astonished by the brilliant, radiant light not of this world that enveloped him; “and she fell off of the camel.”
We continue to examine a commentary found on this very subject from one of the Balei Tosfos on the Torah, the Riva. Here are his holy words on the possuk in our parsha (Bereishis 24,64): “and she fell off the camel”: :”he saw Yitzchak coming from Gan Eden; he was walking as do the departed, with their feet upwards and their heads downwards;. This was the reason she was astonished when she saw Yitzchak walking upside down, with his head downwards, since she had not seen anything like that before.
Now, though, we need to explain this phenomenon revealed to us by the Riva. Why do the departed up in heaven walk in this manner, with their heads directed downward? Clearly, existence in the world of the souls is spiritual and we are not discussing simple, physical walking. So, what then is the significance of this phenomenon that the departed are walking upside down? Without question, it is a great mitzvah to clarify and understand what this tzaddik is teaching us.
To understand it let us learn the mamar for it will surprise us, how when being in the upper world we are no longer able to advance spiritually with our own accord, but, rather, are dependent on the Torah study and performance of mitzvos of our children. Only through the deeds of our children will we be able to walk and advance in the world above. Therefore the deceased walk with their heads oriented downward and their legs upward. This signifies that their entire thought process and strategy relies on those who remain below in this world. Only, by means of those down below, will they merit to walk and advance in the upper world.
So Chaveirim let us take advantage while we are well and alive till a 120 healthy years, to raise our children according the rules and mitzvhos of the heilige torah. Because it is they who will keep us going wherever we are…
A sweet and lechtiken Shabbes.
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