Beit Midrash

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To dedicate this lesson

Abraham’s 10 tests and consequences

The parallelism between the ten trials of Avraham Avinu and other important tens.


Rabbi Avraham (Abe) Abrahami

(Avot de’Rabbi Nathan, Ch. 33-35)

The Hebrew words Toldot and Toladot mean - history, consequences of events from the beginning, leading or giving birth to... Abraham our forefather left us with an everlasting legacy and merits of self-sacrificial actions and consequences that shield the Jewish people. It’s called – Magen Avraham – the shield and protector of Abraham and his descendants, by G-d himself.

Abraham successfully passed his 10 tests to create eternal-immense credit and shield for the Jewish people

  1. Being thrown into a furnace because of his belief in a single G-d;

  2. Leaving his birthplace, his country and his father's house,

  3. Famine in the land of Canaan and being forced to leave it;

  4. The oppression of Pharaoh by taking Sarah away from Abraham,

  5. The oppression of Avimelech by taking Sarah away from Abraham,

  6. The war against the militarily superior 4 kings to save Lot (his nephew),

  7. Taking Hagar in the hope of generating a son,

  8. Circumcision in a very old age of 99,

  9. Expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael that was bad in the eyes of Abraham,

  10. Akeidat [binding of] Yitzchak to be scarified on mount Moriah.

...Parallel to, and merit-credit against 10 times the children of Israel transgressed in the Sinai desert, after the exit from Egypt:

  1. (Ex 14:11-12) - Accusing God of tricking them, leading them into a trap at the Reed Sea so the Egyptians could kill them.

  2. (Ex. 15:23-26) - Complaining at Marah about the water being bitter.

  3. (Ex. 16:2-12) - Complaining for lack of meat and bread to eat.

  4. (Ex. 16:15-20) - Leaving Manna until morning against God's instructions.

  5. (Ex. 16:22-28) - Collecting Manna on the Sabbath against God's instructions.

  6. (Ex. 17:1-7) - Complaining at Refidim for water.

  7. (Ex. 32) – Killing Hur (son of Miriam) and idol worship with golden calf.

  8. (Num. 11:1-34) - Complaining about lack of vegetables, meat and other foods.

  9. (Num. 13:1-33 and Num 14:1-39) - Distrust in G-d concerning the land of Israel by asking that spies be sent into the land, and upon their return, speaking ill of the land.

  10. (Num. 14:40-45 and Deut 1:26-46) – Disobedience and launching an unauthorized war against Amalek, the Canaanites and Amorites.

...Parallel to the 10 utterances of Creation in Genesis, 10 plagues in Egypt, 10 weapons of G-d’s war against the Egyptians, 10 miracles at the Reed Sea, 10 daily remembrances, 10 commandments, 10 names of a prophet, 10 names of G-d, 10 miracles inside the Temple... and more 10s...

10 weapons of G-d against the Egyptians at the Reed Sea:

  1. Thundering noise
  2. Shooting arrows
  3. Lightening
  4. Swords
  5. Javelins
  6. Spears
  7. Slings and stones
  8. Shields
  9. Burning hailstones
  10. Burning coals

10 miracles at the Reed Sea by Moses:

  1. Moses told the children of Israel at the Reed Sea – cross - but they refused and said, we will not cross until you perforate the surface, so he lifted his staff and did it...
  2. And then Moses said to them – cross - and they refused until he made the surface like a valley...
  3. And then Moses cut the surface into sections [for each tribe]...
  4. And then he made the surface like clay...
  5. And then like desert...
  6. And then like crumbs...
  7. And then like rocks...
  8. And then dry land...
  9. And then protective walls of water on either side...
  10. And then bags of drinking water and honey; so they could drink. Finally the people agreed and crossed.
    In addition; G-d also created pillars of fire between the protective water walls and roofs over the heads of the Jewish people crossing the sea to shield them from any harm and offer them complete safety and comfort.

10 memories we recall daily:

  1. Exodus from Egypt
  2. The Sabbath
  3. The Manna
  4. The war of Amalek
  5. Receiving the 10 Commandments at Sinai
  6. The 10 transgression in the desert, in particular the golden calf
  7. The evil of Balak and Balaam
  8. The story of Miram’s affliction and healing
  9. It is G-d who gives us the strength to act and accomplish our tasks
  10. The holy Temple in Jerusalem.
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