Lech Lecha

Posted in Breishit on Sunday, 26 June 2011.

Avraham’s first two tests.


The Mishnah states that Avraham was tried by ten tests (Avos 5:3). First, Nimrod sought to kill him because of his belief in the One God, which forced Avraham into hiding for 13 years. Secondly, on refusing to bow down to an idol, Avraham was thrown into the fire by Nimrod, only to be saved by a miracle.

Why is there no mention of these two tests in the written Torah? Surely, they were truly remarkable acts of courage?

A person’s connection to God can be based on either ration­alization or revelation. If a person’s worship is essentially rat­ ional, it is bound by human limitations. A person who serves God based on Divine revelation enjoys an unlimited form of worship, since the parameters are determined by God, who is unlimited. For this reason, Judaism is based on the latter approach.

Consequently, Avraham’s first two tests were omitted from the written Torah—the most fundamental text of Judaism—since they preceded God’s first revelation to Avraham, the system on which Judaism is primarily based.

(Based on Likutei Sichos vol. 25, p. 47ff.)

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