It's truly amazing how things from so long ago stick in your head.
Last Friday morning, I left my home to go to daven. The air was (finally!) cooler and crisp. Birds were chirping, no cars were yet in the street, and the sun was beginning to rise. It was one of those "Disney" moments, where any Ben Torah should reflect on the Creator's world. Suddenly, I heard the "thump thump" of heavy artillery coming from the north. And what's the first thing that comes to my mind?
"I LOVE the smell of napalm in the morning … it smells like … victory …."
If you can remember where the line is from: you're old. If you can understand and appreciate how that came into my mind at that point, you're as sick and twisted as I am.
"And Yitzchok brought her (Rivka) into the tent of his mother, Sarah" (Bereishis 24:67).
Rashi notes a medrash that states that when Sarah was alive, there were three miracles that occurred in her tent that disappeared when she died, only to return when Rivka married Yitzchok. The first was that the candles lit for Shabbos stayed lit throughout the week. The second was that the dough always produced more than it should have. And the third was that the tent was always protected by a cloud.
Rav Pincus explains: the main reason given in the Gemara for Shabbos candles is for peace in the home. Obviously, this was given before electricity. But, without light in the home, there are bound to be accidents with people and objects. However, a well-lit home will lessen those issues. Of course, there are deeper reasons connected to it, but that's outside the scope of this dvar Torah. Either way, this "Peace in the Home" light did not just remain for Shabbos, but also throughout the week. So, even in times of work and stress, it was evident that Peace in the Home reigned throughout.
Regarding the blessing of the dough, that is the blessing of income. People mistakenly believe that having plenty of money is a blessing. Many rich people might disagree with that. The more money, the more worries. The more money, the more "friends" you have. At the opposite end, many people mistakenly believe that being poor is "holy." After all, so many of the great Torah personalities were poor (yet somehow forgetting many were quite well off).
A friend of mine told me that his grandmother always used to daven, "Please give me enough money for what I need in life, and a little bit more." I think something like that makes sense. A person shouldn't be occupied with money his whole life. It's not a heathy thing (unless he's doing it for mitzvos). A good brachah is that a person should have what he needs, FEELS that he has what he needs, and have as few debts as possible, and not have to work too hard for his money. This was the blessing of the dough. Sarah and Rivkah started off with X amount of dough, put in enough work for X amount of dough, and received 3X the amount of bread. That's a true blessing regarding income.
The final one was that of the cloud covering the tent. The Jewish home, or really, the Jewish family, has to also have modesty in it. And while of course there is modesty regarding clothing, there is modesty regarding behavior as well. And there is modesty as a family unit as well. When a family lives and works together, they maintain a bond that is shared only amongst themselves and not amongst others. The relationship, or the closeness, within a healthy family should be stronger than the relationship that we have with others.
All three of these things were evident with Sarah and evident with Rivkah.
May it be evident with us as well.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!