Throughout Sefer Bereishit, the Torah describes Avraham’s hospitality and greatness in detail. Last week, the Torah took seven Pesukim to describe Avraham’s hospitality to his guests, the three angels. At the end of this week’s Parsha, the Torah sums up Avraham’s life by saying, “And Avraham expired and died at a good old age, mature and content, and was gathered to his people” (25:8).
Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz explains these Pasukim with an analogy. When a person wins the lottery, he tells all his friends that he has won the lottery. He does not explain all the details of his millions. Yet a person who has worked all his life and is able to save up those same millions will have a lot to tell about how hard he worked and the sacrifices he had to make to save up all that money. He would tell you how he had to work long hours with very little sleep, etc…. Each aspect of his hard-earned money is dear to him. The more effort he put in, the more he would talk about it.
Rav Yeruchem Levovitz explains that the actions and behavior of the righteous are like a building. With each action, a righteous person is building a large skyscraper. That is why the Torah tells us of the hospitality of Avraham in such great detail. Avraham did not become righteous overnight; he worked every minute of his life to become righteous.
We learn from here that it takes work and effort, often over one’s entire life, to become righteous if one sincerely wants to do so. However, Hashem guarantees that if you strive for righteousness, He will assist you in attaining your goal.