4And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. This wish of God has never changed. From it we can learn some powerful lessons about dogma in Jewish philosophy, about the difference between medieval and modern thought, and about different ways to relate to God. Differences can be healthy if they complement each other, but only if the relationship can still address basic needs and values. 78-9. The promise to multiply his offspring. God’s wrath is a safeguard preventing all evil forces from multiplying and running rampant, and it is also a safeguard that protects the existence and spread of all just and positive things and eternally guards them from suppression and subversion. Academic Study of the Torah Is Essential, Not Just for Academics, Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship, By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use, How did Abraham Discover God? Was the process of this resolution true? When you put your hand on your heart and speak to yourself, do you have a clear idea of what you’re saying? It takes a clever midrashic twist to cement their common identity: Rather than being desired by her new king for her beauty, he rather desires to proclaim her beauty to all (out of his great love for her). The Gospel of Jesus Christ | Gospel for Today. There were more than one instances recorded. He received them just as God says in the Scriptures: “because you have obeyed my voice.” That is, because Abraham had followed God’s command, because he had done everything that God had said, asked and commanded without the slightest complaint, thus God made such a promise to him. One of the great debates in medieval Jewish thought was whether or not it is right, or even possible, to “marry” the Torah to Greek wisdom. He was not! [5] Thus, it is not unreasonable to argue that verse 1 is not a normal vision. It is a thought-provoking passage, and one that held especial significance for, and had a far-reaching impact upon those who came after. 46-54 and p. 66, note 10 and references therein. How much does God cherish this sincerity? But in fact, this person’s knowledge of God was barely more than nothing. The first few verses of the parasha read (the New Jewish Publication Society translation, with some modifications): To summarize the middle of this story: vv. What Is the Meaning of Christ? [1] Cf. B…. Finally, even though it appears awkward that verse 3 should be directed at God and verses 4-5 to the potential guests, the verbs in verse 3 are singular and the verbs in verses 4-5 are plural.[6]. Although, on the surface, this seems normal, and a matter of course, in it we see God’s heart: God especially treasures man’s obedience to Him, and cherishes man’s understanding of Him and sincerity toward Him. And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned to his place. If he was wealthy he might ride a horse or be carried in a wagon, but if not then he might have to walk, carrying his belongings on his back. 15And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. Now let us read the parable as it actually appears in the midrash (Bereshit Rabba 39:1): Although the midrash addresses the first verse of Parashat Lekh Lekha, the verse with which Rabbi Isaac “opened” (2) is from Psalms, and its plain sense has nothing to do with Abraham. Why Is the Lord Jesus Called Christ? [3] In verse 2, Abraham sees potential guests, and therefore, in verse 3, breaks off his vision with God to tend to his potential guests.[4]. All Rights Reserved. How long will the footprints on the moon last? Ever since He created man in the beginning, God has yearned for a group of overcomers, a group that will walk with Him and are able to understand, comprehend and know His disposition. 10And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. Just before it, at the very beginning of Hilkhot Avodah Zarah, Maimonides outlined his famous explanation of how mankind devolved into idolatry. Do you want to welcome the Lord and be raptured into the heavenly kingdom? Although Abraham’s hospitality is common in the Ancient East, he goes beyond the call of welcome duty. What impossible situation are you currently facing? “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Then He patiently repeats that she will have a son next year. Did God speak in an audible voice to Abraham. It was the reason why Brahma left the Trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and himself, for he was shy and depressed when … Seeing light appear in one window after the next is a very likely indication that someone has personally ordained the lighting of lamps. Gen. 19:1 where they are explicitly called angels (or messengers [, , Oxford, 1991, chapter 3 for a thorough discussion of the meaning of the word. And so, in His heart, God was still lonely and anxious. For this reason Maimonides’ “true” views have been debated continually for more than eight centuries—a debate which continues to this very day.[6]. Kadish is the author of Kavvana: Directing the Heart in Jewish Prayer and The Book of Abraham: Rabbi Shimon ben Zemah Duran and the School of Rabbenu Nissim Gerondi. Genesis 18:16,22 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way…. In light of them it may be that God’s sudden choice of Abram was ironic or purposely tragic, but not unexplainable. [4] According to Maimonides, Abraham vanquished idolatry through the power of his mind, by considering the implications of the heavens and the way they function. Since this chain of causality is finite, and can be apprehended at least in part, it became highly tempting for medieval philosophers to try to explain it as far as they could, and that included saying various things about God. 23-27), Abraham, his son Ishmael, and their entire household are circumcised; parashat Vayera (Gen. 18) begins immediately after this. Nechama Leibowitz (of blessed memory) used to tell the following story. And so, at that moment, when God swore by Himself, His heart was still lonely and sorrowful. As motivated soldiers they did just that. Maimonides’ reading of our midrashic passage, and the way he uses it, reflect his intellectual position: The existence of a single incorporeal God is not a matter of belief or theory or guesswork, but a demonstrable scientific fact. In verse 13 there is no doubt that God is speaking, because the tetragrammaton is used. Although he addresses the leader, “my Lord”, this name was also used as a respectful title for men. Genesis 35:13 Then God went up from him at the place where He had spoken with him. Abraham doesn’t have to ask twice what The LORD says concerning Sarah: “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”. 13And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. He knew that there is one God, and He directs the sphere, and He created all, and in all of existence there is no God but He…, This short passage requires some unpacking. No matter what God wanted, it was just a wish, just an idea—for Abraham was merely a man who was able to obey Him, and did not have the slightest understanding or knowledge of God. The “uncorrected” statement of God left standing before Abraham probably highlighted the solemnity of what was to follow (Abraham’s petition to save Sodom; Gen. The 2 angels head off to Sodom in verse 16. Then, when she came into the classroom, she immediately told them to open their books and find her the well-known story about young Abram smashing his father’s idols. In this reading God is not “reappearing” in verse 13, rather God has been with Abraham the whole time. “It would seem there is a master who attends to this palace,” says the man in the parable. How do you put grass into a personification? That gap becomes even more vivid when we compare Abram to the last great protagonist in the Torah, namely Noah, about whom we are famously told that he was “a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time; Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). Abrahama aka Brahma actually spoke with Faulkin(Yeshua), assuming him to be God Almighty. from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh. He desires that we seek His guidance and power. You are welcome to contact us in the following ways. On the surface, God had gained Abraham, and had gained someone who could obey His words. Many believe that this was Jesus reincarnate (John 1:18) accompanied by two angels (also in human form). But is the “proof” in the midrash which led to the traveler’s realization really conclusive?

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