© 2016 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner
Torah Class THEFT-6/Abraham’s Trials and Blessings
“And Abraham said, AaDoNai, ELoKiM, what would you give me?” (Genesis 15:2)
1: Go to whoever I’ll show you
Abraham as a vessel made by the CREATOR (Midrash) is due to undergo a series of tests, ten or more, by which he would either fail or become stronger.
The first hard fiery test of Abraham – the vessel – was to be thrown into the oven of Ur for teaching the Seven Commandments. He survived the trial and came out stronger, but now he would withstand another four trials in one package as it is said:
“Go for yourself out of your country
And out of the land where you were born
And out of your father home
And go to the land that I shall show it to you…”(Genesis 11: 31)
It is hard for a person to leave his country,
It is harder to leave the place he was born
And it is even harder to leave your father home
And it is extremely hard to go BLINDLY to a place that YHVH would show.
If Abraham would do this, he would become a stronger vessel to receive YHVH blessings.
And if he complies blindly, he has shown that he is , as he has said, a slave of the Maker-Owner (AaDoNai)
2: YHVH blessing to a good receiver
If Abraham would withstand these trials, he would become a stronger vessel, capable of receiving and holding YHVH’s Blessings, as YHVH continues saying:
(1) “And I will make you a great nation
(2) “And I will bless you
(3) “And I will make your name great,
(4) “And you will become a blessing
(5) “And I will bless those who bless you
(6) “And I will curse those who will curse you
(7) “And all the families of the Earth will be blessed in you.” (Genesis 12:1-4.)
Abraham, the rabbis said, is like a vessel full of aroma. Keep the vessel in place and the aroma would not spread. Stir the vessel up by moving it, and its aroma would be felt around it.
As you can see, YHVH words are full of ‘Blessings; an ‘explosion’ of them. They are.
Go to yourself
“Go for yourself….” Is a paradox! Abraham would go to himself, to be a blessing for the entire world! Logic would say that to impact the world Abraham and his seeds Israel should spread everywhere; in China, India, Europe and America. But here YHVH orders Abraham to settle in the Holy Land to be a blessing to the entire world!
Indeed, where did he Jewish people write the Bible, the Mishnah and the Talmud if not while lving in the Holy Land?
Amazingly, all other occupants of the Holy Land for thousands of years have produced no spiritual work that affected anyone!
Blessing 1, 2, 3: Children, Wealth and Fame
(1) “And I will make you a great nation” many children<)
(2) “And I will bless you” (material wealth)
(3) “And I will make your name great” (fame)
These three things are usually lost to a wonderer. So here Abraham is promised to have them restored (Rashi)
4: Be a blessing!
You will be a vessel full of aroma that would smell good all over the world.
The stronger the vessel, the more opaque it becomes by trial and tribulations, the more it would be able to contain YHVH Light and Blessing and then spread it all over.
5.6 : A source of blessings
5. “And I will bless those who bless you”
6: “And I will curse those who curse you.”
How true! The nations that would support Israel in history would prosper,
Those who join Israel’s enemies would be doomed.
All the great Empires, the Persian, Greek, Roman, Spain, Germany, prospered when they supported Israel. Once they have become hostile to Israel they all failed.
7: Those who would be grafted on Abraham’s tree
(7) “And all the families of the Earth will be blessed in you.”
The verse says “blessed IN you” rather than ‘BY you.’
The explanation hinges on the multiple meanings of the Hebrew word for ‘bless’ ba-rech.
It can be read as “blessed,”
But it can be equally read as ‘grafted,’ like a brunch of a tree grafted on another tree.
And it can be read as ‘those who kneel on you.’
In other words,
YHVH would bless those who’d either lean on Abraham,
Or those who’d be ‘grafted’ on Abraham’s tree.
In order for the Nations to enjoy the aroma spread from the vessel called Abraham,
They must either lean on him, spiritually speaking, absorb his teaching,
And of course those who have chosen to join Abraham, to be grafted on his tree,
Like Ruth the Moabite, who came from Moab, the arch enemy of Israel, and accepted the Torah. She was rewarded by having King David coming from her seed.
But to be such a strong vessel, Abraham would have to pass through many more trial and tribulations, each increasingly harder!
END OF THEFT 6