How does the greatness of the Chofetz Chaim compare to the greatness of the forefathers?
Now, in my little mind I can barely make a good comparison, but I’ll try. You’ll take a baseball and compare it to the size of the sun, that’s what it is. Avraham Avinu is the sun and the Chofetz Chaim is a baseball — a very good baseball.
Now, when we compare ourselves to the Chafetz Chaim, it’s like an atom compared to the baseball because the Chofetz Chaim was a very very great man. But the Chofetz Chaim compared to Avraham Avinu is only a baseball compared to the sun. Only that because we’ve never sufficiently studied the greatness of this great man Avraham so we think maybe it’s an exaggeration.
קיים אברהם אבינו את כל התורה כולה עד שלא נתנה – Avraham Avinu kept the whole Torah even before it was given. Look, Avraham Avinu had dinim of sh’vuah, laws of swearing oaths. Without the Torah being given he kept dinim of swearing. There were dinim of nedarim; וידור יעקב נדר. That family had nedarim already. Yaakov Avinu gave ma’aser, Avraham Avinu gave ma’aser, ויתן לו מעשר מכל – He gave ma’aser to Malkitzedek. Ma’aser! Avraham invented all these dinim by himself. Avraham practiced many halachos that are in the gemara today. When the family of Ya’akov took from the plunder of Shechem, and they took the idols too, so Yaakov told them to bathe and to also bathe their garments, because of tumas avodah zara. That’s not even an issur de’oraisa! Tumas avodah zara is only an issur d’rabanan. Even dinei d’rabanan they practiced!
And all this came from Avraham Avinu’s great mind. Avraham invented so many things that are in the Torah that it’s amazing how he did such a thing – he was clairvoyant it seems, a magician. The answer is that he had a remarkable mind; he was the most brilliant, original researcher the world ever saw.
Moshe Rabeinu was not as original as Avraham Avinu. That’s why in Pirkei Avos all the people are called תלמידיו של אברהם אבינו, students of Avraham. Even Moshe Rabeinu is called a talmid of Avraham Avinu. We have no idea how great that man was. Not only was he great but once he discovered the truth, he was stubborn to uphold the truth and he fought against his environment; his fought against his father and mother, his cousins, everybody! He fought against his whole environment and he refused to yield. “I know what’s right! I don’t care!” And even though it meant his life — his life was almost extinguished because of his stubbornness.
And therefore this great man transcended any great person in our history. Moshe Rabeinu is the only one who outdid him, because Moshe Rabeinu was a special story. Moshe Rabeinu was given gifts from Hashem for the purpose of a special mission that the people should accept the Torah from his hands. So Moshe was a special creation. But as far as originality – a man who with his own kochos, his own powers, his own gifts and talents became great, there’s no one like Avraham and like Sarah. We have to understand that. That’s why these two are the founders of our nation.
TAPE # 640