Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
Avraham’s Addition
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 01:26:12 PM
Number of views: 1354

“And Avraham ADDED, and took a wife whose name was Ketura”. (Bereshit 25:1) The word VAYOSEF – ADDED in this verse seems to be extra. To what did Avraham ADD by marrying Ketura?

To answer this question, Rav Feinstein asks another question. When Avraham married Ketura he was already 140 years old. The Talmud in Basa Basra 17 states that Avraham experienced the pleasures of the World to Come already in this world. So the pleasures of this world would not have held any appeal for him, as the Mishna in Avot states “Better one hour of spiritual pleasure in the World to Come, than the entire physical pleasure of this world.” What then, motivated Avraham to take another wife? He already had it all, the pleasures of this world and also, according to the Talmud, the pleasures of the World to Come.

Rav Feinstein explains that even though Avraham had already experienced the World to Come, in this world, he also understood the importance and purpose of this physical world. As the Mishnah in Avot states, “Better one hour of Tshuva and Mitzvot in this world, than the entire life of the World to Come!”

While the physical pleasures of this world no longer attracted or interested Avraham, after having tasted the World to Come, Avraham still valued the unique opportunity to do more Mitzvot, which is the entire purpose of life in this world. Therefore, Avraham wanted to ADD to the Mitzvot he had already done and to continue to occupy himself with the Mitzva of having more children. Thus by marrying Ketura and fathering more children, he ADDED to his Mitzva count.

Avraham’s message to us is to live, experience, and appreciate life to its fullest, by ADDING on to our own personal Mitzva count.

As Jackie Wilson sang in his number one hit song in 1963, called Movin Higher and Higher!

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