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Thought for the Day: Longer Life Through Chesed

The gemara (Rosh HaShannah 18a) wonders what was the z'chus that allowed Rabba and Abaya (descendants of Eli haCohein and subject to a decree of early death) to have such long lives.  Rabba, Chazal tell us, lived to 40 because he was constantly involved with Torah; Abaya lived to 60 because he was constantly involved with Torah and G'mulus Chasadim.  I heard from R' Chaim Dov Keller, shlita, that the Chafeitz Chaim said on this chazal that one does not lose from doing chesed.  Our life is not a fixed pool out of which we need to take away from one thing to give to another.  As Jews we don't live b'derech ha'teva, we live (literally) -- both spiritually and physically -- b'derech ha'Torah.

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