Genesis 21 - G-d Tested Avraham Part 1 & Part 2

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Journey Through Genesis

Genesis 21

G-d Tested Avraham © 

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

If the Hebrew Test Does not Open please click here.

Audio 1    -     Audio 2

Our Devri Torah is in the loving Memory of Mr. George Belk, Mrs Ethel Channah Sakash Belk Mr. Arnold Student Litman  may they rest in peace.

  Gen. 22:1

 µh...-r:b]a'Ata, hS...`nI µyhi+løa'h...¢w" hL,ae+h; µyrI∞b;D"h' r~j'a' yhi%y"w"

.ynINEêhi rm,aOYìw" µh...`r:b]a' wyl;+ae rm,aOY§w"

Dear Ones most of us know that G-d Tested Avraham.  Notice Words 5 - 8.  hS;nI, Nee Sawh, means to test, to try, to examine.  This is what G-d as Judge of the universe required of Avraham.  Sefer HaYashar, The Midrash Says, Midrash Rabbah and Midrash Tanchuma each comment that G-d Tested Avraham.

Sefer HaYashar 

Sefer HaYashar (Hoboken, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 1993) p.8

Midrash Rabba

Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, Midrash Rabba (New York, NY: The Soncino Press 1983) pp 482-503

The Midrash Says

Rabbi Moshe Weissman, The Midrash Says (Brooklyn, New York:  Benei Yakov Publications 1980), pp 192-206

Metsudah Midrash Tanchuma Bereishis 1

Avrohom Davis, Metsudah Midrash Tanchuma Bereishis 1 (Monsey, NY Eastern Book Press Inc. 2005) pp 295-297

The Weekly Midrash

The Weekly Midrash Vol. 1 Bereisheit / Shemot (Mesorah Publications, Brooklyn, N.Y. 2003), pp 152 -156

Midrash Rabba Says, The [L-rd] trieth the righteous, etc. (Ps.XI,5)... The L-rd Does Not test the wicked but only the righteous as it says, 'The [L-rd] trieth the righteous.' R. Eleazar said: When a man possesses two cows, one strong and the other feeble, upon which does he put the yoke?  Surely upon the righteous, as it says, The [L-rd] trieth the righteous.  Another interpretation: The [L-rd] trieth the righteous alludes to Abraham as it says, THAT [G-D] DID PROVE ABRAHAM.  pp 482, 483

Midrash Tanchuma Says [G-d Tested] Avrohom Tehillim 11.5  p296

There are a number of important points to notice about Avraham.

Avram Breaks His Father, Terach's, idols with an ax

The city was named after an incident between Avraham, his father Terach, a brother Charan, and King Nimrod. Avram {Avraham} broke all his father's idols - which were many- with an ax. He then left the ax in the hand of the largest idol and told his father that the largest idol had destroyed all the other idols. This was of course untrue. Terach realized the senselessness of Avram's story. He knew idols could not do what Avram claimed. Avraham used this to try to persuade his father to believe in the One true G-d. Terach refused. Terah took his son Avram before King Nimrod. Avram repeated the story to King Nimrod. He also knew idols could not do what Avram claimed. Avram used this incident to share about Hashem, the One true G-d, with King Nimrod.

Abraham's [discovers G-d]

...his efforts to publicize the existence of [G-d] to the people of Ur Kasdim...forced  [a confrontation with] Nimrod, the regional monarch, and this resulted in Abraham's miraculous deliverance from [Ur Kasdim, i.e.] Nimrod's fiery furnace. This well-known incident is vital to our understanding of Abraham's character, for it illustrates Abraham's staunch devotion to the truth of [G-d's Existence], and it helps us understand why [G-d Chose] Abraham to disseminate His [Knowledge] to mankind. We can perceive the depth of Abraham's devotion to [G-d] when we realize that Abraham had no foreknowledge of [G-d's] intent to rescue him from the furnace, [See Nehemiah 9.7]

Bereisheit 12.1,2

Avram leaves his land

Avraham leaves his birthplace

Avram leaves his father's house

Bereisheit 12

Avram went as Hashem had told him...

Avram built Altars to Hashem...

Avram separates from Lot

Bereisheit 14

Avram rescue Lot and all the people and cattle taken by the five kings

Avram tithed a 10th of everything

Avraham had thousands of servants / converts

Bereisheit 15

Avram agrees to Hashem's covenant

Bereisheit 16

Sarai gives Hagar to Avram for a wife

Hagar has Yishmael

Bereisheit 17

On the very day Avraham was commanded to receive circumcision  Avraham circumcised himself and the males in his household

Bereisheit 18

Hashem Appears Spiritually to Avraham three days after his circumcision

Three guest Appear before Avraham

Avram runs toward them, greets them, invites them for a meal

Avram hurries to Sarai's tent to have her prepare matzoh

Avraham ran to his cattle and took a choice calf

Avram receives the promise of a son at this same time {Pesach] next year

Avraham pleads for the righteous in Sedom

Bereisheit 19

Avraham got up early in the morning, Avraham saw heavy smoke rising from Sedom 

Bereisheit 20

Avraham journeyed from there

Sarah is taken by Avimelech to be his wife and Hashem Protects her

Avraham prayers for Avimelech so he and his country people will again be able to have children

Bereisheit 21

Yitzchok was born, he grew, he was weaned, Avraham made a great feast

Sari says drive out this bond woman and her son for the son of this slave woman will not inherit with my son, with Yitzchok

Avraham was trouble but obeyed

Avraham got up early in the morning and ejected Hagar and Yishmael

Avraham gave Hagar and Yishmael words of direction, a water pouch and bread

Bereisheit 22

Avraham is tested buy G-d

Avraham awoke early

Avraham saddled his donkey

Avraham split wood for the offering

Avraham offered Yitzchok as a sacrifice

Avraham learns that Rivkah the wife intended for Yitzchok was born

Bereisheit 23

Avraham mourns Sarah's death

Avraham the cave at Machpeilah

Bereisheit 24

Avraham calls for his most trusted servant and makes him swear regarding taking a wife for Yitzchok

Avraham instructs the servant

Bereisheit 25

Avraham takes Hagar back as Keturah for his wife

Avraham has nine children by her

Avraham gave them gifts and sent them away

Avraham dies at 175 years of age in peace.

What is the point to each of these stories?

Avraham was a righteous man.  Avraham was a Novie / Prophet.  Notice how Avraham did things.  Notice how careful Avraham was in his Observances.  Only the righteous are tested.  We may feel like we are tested but too often we are ONLY SUFFERING FROM OUR OWN SINS!  Avraham did Mitzvot.  We do Mitzvot.  Avraham is VERY RIGHTEOUS we are not?  Why?  Avraham was tried by G-d the Judge.  Usually we are not?  Why?  

It is the different way in which we do our Observances.  The only time the word  hS;nI, Nee Sawh, tested in Ha Torah like this is when Ha Torah Records,  G-d Tested Avraham.  Our sages tie the righteous to tests.  Our sages say G-d Only tests the righteous.  Why is this?  The righteous are strong.  We are weak!  If we were tested as Avraham and Dovid Ha Melech and B'nei Yisroel in the BaMidbar were tested we would fail.  Tests are designed to show the strength of the material, of the auto, of the jet of loving G-d or righteousness...

The Gematria of the word    hS;nI, Nee Sawh, to be tested is 115.  qz...j;, Haw Zawk meaning strength is 115.  The immediacy of Avraham in each of these examples is like the last Word in Bereisheit 22.1, ynInEhi, Hee Nay Nee, 'I am ready'.  How many times have we NOT been immediate like Avraham?  How many times have we drug our self to do a Mitzvah instead of hurrying?  How many times did we just not do the Mitzvah?  That is the difference between Avraham and us.  Avraham and the righteous have a higher self!  Only the strong can reach these levels.  Only the strong can endure these tests.

\Nee Saw / To be tested

115 = h5 s60 n50

Haw zawk To be strong, to have strength 

115 = q100 z7 j8

Hee Nay Nee / I am ready!

115 = y10 n50 n50 h5

What is the point?  The word for Sold is πWg, Goof meaning soul or body.  Whenever Ha Torah is translated from Hebrew to English and the world 'self' is used we are reminded that the word πWg, Goof  does NOT OCCUR EVEN ONE TIME IN Ha Tenach.  Instead the word used for self is Nefesh. Why is this?  This is to remind us that just as the Word πWg, Goof  is invisible in Ha Torah it must be invisible in us.  In  other Words in the Words of Mishnah, NUllify your will in the face of His Will, so that He Will nullify the will of others in the face of your will, Avot 2.4 The sages teach that Often a person performs Commandments, but angrily or begrudgingly, as through duress... Rabban Gamliel thus Teaches us to serve Him willingly, so that He in turn will do our will willingly.... In other Words treat your own will as if it were His Will.  I.e. one should liv e only for the sake of Heaven and perform even mundane affairs for the sake of Heaven....  Mishnah Volume IV(Mesorah Publications, LTD, Brooklyn, N.Y 11232 First Edition 2007, First Impression ) p 111

The full essence for the Word πWg, Goof is 166.  When we lift our self up ˆwOyl"[,, Eh Lee Yoon, meaning to lift ones self up on high, there is only one place for our prideful self to go Wlp]n: Naw Feh Loo, meaning to be fallen.  So the point is to take the self, the prideful self, the high and might self , the haughty self out of our being so that we will have a righteous being and be free to love G-d and serve G-d as our Father Avraham did.

166 =  81 = a1 p80  -  12= w6 w6  -  73 = l30 m40g3

166 = ˆ50 w6 y10 l30 [70

166 = w6 l30 p80 n50

The prayer for each of us is not to be self empowering but  to be soul empowering as our father Avraham and mother Sarah were.

Blessings, Love, Health, Prosperity, Kindness and Peace,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel

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This page contains a single entry by B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC Blog published on October 30, 2012 12:01 AM.

Genesis 21 - Why Did Avraham Send Yishmael and Hagar Away Penniless? was the previous entry in this blog.

Genesis 22 - The Ten Trials of Avraham © is the next entry in this blog.

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