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Commentary Confusion


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

25 Tammuz 5764
I don’t understand some of the references I have noticed in the commentary. To be specific I am confused about references of this sort. "The Sages fault him for using Torah Scholars to wage war, and maintain that this was one of the reasons his descendants were consigned to Egyptian servitude (Nedarim 32a)." The ’him’ referred to here is Abraham and this is a comment on Genesis 14:14-16 where Abraham saves Lot. Commentary is from the Stone Edition Chumash. I don’t understand the reference to Torah scholars here since this event occurred centuries before the revelation at Sinai. There are other references to Torah or Torah scholarship referring to events that predate the revelation at Sinai. I don’t understand these references
First we should understand that the "Midrash" is not "Pshat" – to mean – it is not telling us what exactly happened but it is to direct us to a deeper idea behind the simple meaning, it's a whole learning skill of its own. To the point you made; the Torah as we know it was revealed at Har Sinai after exodus, but the teachings of G-d and Godliness were around since Adam through the ten generations till Noah and his son Shem, Ever and other "Torah" scholars – they may have not studied the Talmud but religious teachings were there all the time. That’s how you can understand the Pasuk that speaks about Malkitzedek was a priest of G-d (Genesis 14; 18) and other similar verses.
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