G-D, WHY THE DELAY?

0 Posted by - December 1, 2016 - Breishit, Parsha

G-D, WHY THE DELAY?

Parashat Toldot

People don’t have as hard a time believing in G-d as they do accepting G-d. So many times, people pray and G-d makes the person wait, and then, sometimes, only after a while, G-d gets things moving. Many times, many people have a hard time understanding G-d, and accepting that He has His reasons for the delay.

Everything in the Shidduch of Rivka was clearly the Hand of G-d, and how it all happened so fast is amazing. It is so strange then, that G-d made them wait so long for a child. Yitzhak and Rivka prayed, and G-d put them on hold. Why should they have to wait so long to have a child?

Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld points to an amazing thing in our Parasha. ויעתר לו ×”’  And G-d allowed Himself to be entreated by Yitzhak’s plea. Rashi adds, נתפצר ונתפיס ונתפתה לו G-d was persuaded by Yitzhak, and G-d granted Yitzhak children. Here, Rashi is stressing, that G-d allowed Himself to be persuaded to grant Yitzhak children, something He was not really ready, otherwise, to do. What does this mean?

We know that Yitzhak’s son, Esav, on the day of his Bar Mitzvah, transgressed the cardinal sins. He came home, and found Yaakov busy brewing lentils, the food that is traditionally eaten by mourners. This is because Avraham had just passed away, and Yitzhak was in mourning.

The Midrash teaches that Avraham died on that day because G-d did not want him to see how his grandson, Esav, had left religion. This would not be a  שיבה טובה ,a happy ending, for Avraham. So Avraham actually had to die five years earlier than he was supposed to. He died at 175, instead of dying at the age of 180, like his son Yitzhak.

Now, the reason why he died five years earlier was because of his grandson Esav’s misbehavior when Esav reached bar mitzvah. This means that if Esav would have come into the world on the day that he was supposed to, Avraham would have lived a full life of 180 years. So, why was Esav born five years before his time? Because Yitzhak prayed and prayed, so much, that G-d was persuaded, and gave him a son five years earlier than planned.

Of course, we need to pray for things that are important. But when G-d does not answer us as fast as we want to, every minute of a delay has a reason.

There is a wild story that happened with the Arizal. The story is cited in the Sefer Kav Hayashar. A forty-year-old man approached the Arizal, saying that he had not yet merited finding a wife. As much as he dated, it never bore results. Either she did not want him, or he did not want her. The man asked the Arizal for a bit of advice. Shockingly, the Arizal told him, “Your shidduch lives in Alexandria, in Egypt. Go there. Her name is so-and-so, and her father’s name is so-and-so”.

The man who believed the Arizal traveled the dangerous roads from Tzfat down to Egypt, and when he finally arrived in Alexandria, he asked if anyone knew the father. It turned out that the man was a well known member of the community, in charge of the taxes in town. When he asked about the daughter, he was told that she was of marriageable age and that a suitable husband was being sought for her.  She was said to be a wonderful person, attractive, and only twenty years old.

He went to the shadchan in town and asked if it was possible to arrange him a meeting. The shadchan approached the father of the girl and said. “I have a nice, 40-year-old man, and he would like to meet your daughter. The father agreed, and the two met. They enjoyed each other’s company, and after a few meetings, they agreed to get married a month later. The engagement worked out nicely, and the wedding was well attended by Rabbis and respected community members. They had a beautiful wedding.

The father of the girl gave a whopping 150 thousand dinars for the dowry.  The man was very happy with his new wife, but not for very long. Three months later, the wife got sick. Her situation got so bad that she died within a few days.  For him, this was, obviously, a huge shock and a great tragedy.

Broken, he went back to the Arizal in Tzfat, and asked, why the Rabbi had sent him to marry that girl. It would have been better, he said, if I would never have known her!

The Arizal told him to take a seat. He had a few questions to ask him. “Do you remember what you worked in 20 years ago?” The man responded that he had owned a bakery. The Arizal asked, “Do you remember who your partner was?”  The man said, Yimah Shmo, that cursed man! That partner robbed me of all my money! Because of him, I lost out on 150 thousand dinar!

The Arizal told him that that was the answer. The woman you married – her soul, in her previous life, was that partner. He died shortly after he ran away with your money, and in Heaven it was decided that he would need to come back, in reincarnation, to marry you, and bring you pleasure for three months, to rectify the pain that this Neshama caused you when you were partners in the bakery. So, after the three months, her Tikkun was done, and her Neshama returned to its Creator. And because the amount that you lost was 150 thousand dinar, you were paid back in the dowry. And this is the reason why your marriage was delayed until you were 40, for you needed to wait until she was ready to get married. Now, it is time for you to go and get married to the wife that you will remain with, happily ever after.

R’ Yitzhak Fanger recently told a story that a certain woman had told him. The woman was doing laundry, while her six year old daughter was looking for sweets that were high up in the kitchen cabinets. The girl fell backwards, on her head. The loud noise of the fall startled the mother, and she lost herself when she saw her daughter on the floor, in a bad state. The ambulance came as fast as it could and took mother and daughter to Terem, where it was decided to rush the girl to the Emergency room in the hospital. Things looked much too serious for Terem. When they got to the hospital, a nurse came,  looked at the child, and decided (something she was not allowed to, as she was not a doctor) that the child’s condition was not an emergency and could wait. They waited 6 hours, from 8 pm until 2 am. The child was very hungry, so the mother searched in her purse, finding only a bag of raisins, which she gave her daughter. She waited impatiently until a doctor arrived, who immediately decided that the child needed anesthesia, so that he would be able to begin complicated head surgery. The doctor asked why the mother had waited 6 hours to come after the child had fallen. The mother frowned and said that she was there earlier, but the nurse decided that it was not an emergency.

The doctor asked to make sure, before administering the anesthesia, that the child had not eaten anything for the last few hours. The mother felt horrible, because she did give her daughter some raisins, just a half an hour before! Sternly, the doctor said that she would need to wait another 6 hours without food, so that he could begin anesthesia and surgery.

Now, the mother was beside herself. She started asking G-d – why?. Why did the nurse say that it was not an emergency? Why did she make the foolish mistake of giving the girl the raisins, without asking the doctor first? And why does she have to wait another six hours to start the surgery? Doesn’t G-d have mercy on her daughter?

When the 6 hours had passed, the doctor came, ready to start his medical procedures.  He checked the child, and told the mother that now, it does not seem as though the child will have to go through head surgery. Something happened over those six hours.

Now all delays made sense.

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