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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Beresheet: Parashat Haye Sarah: Bakol

Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi

We read in this week's parasha, that Hashem blessed Abraham in all:

"Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and Hashem had blessed him in every way." (24:1)

The Gemara in Baba Batra relates that Hashem blessed Abraham Avinou with a daughter whose name was "bakol" translated as "in all". This is hinted in the verse because logically, one cannot say that Abraham was blessed with everything if he did not have a daughter. Abraham was wealthy monetarily, with missvot, a wife, two sons, etc. but no daughter. Hashem wanted to complete Abraham's blessing, and therefore provided him with a baby girl.

However, the midrash relates a different understanding of the verse. Abraham was blessed to see his son Yishmael return to the path of religion. This was a blessing for Abraham, as it was difficult for Abraham to see Yishmael turn to a negative path; a path that ultimately lef to Sarah expelling Yishmael from the house. Abraham was consoled finally when he saw Yishmael's return to Judaism.

One must realize that one's decision to make Teshouba is always dependant on one's own strength, even though that in this case, it seems like because Hashem wanted to bless Abraham, Yishmael made Teshouba. The Hida explains that Yishmael achieved Teshouba on his own, but he had to counter excessive opposition from all his friends. The internal battle was Yishmael's, and he succeeded, but to help with all the external negativity, Hashem assisted him due to the merit of his father, Abraham.
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