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Published by: outdash2 on Oct 26, 2013
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Questions: Understanding Terach (Read Pesukim 11:24-32) •Why does the Torah repeat the listing of Terach having children

? •Notice names of children and Terach's fathers name! DoesTerach's father have many kids? What is the significance? •Why does the Torah only talk about Haran having Lot? •Terach takes them to Knaan – Why? In addition,Why does he stay in Charan? •Did Terach really die now?see Rashi •Why does it take 20 generations for an Avraham to succeed to spread Hashem's word? See Rambam, Kessef Mishnah, Raavad- Migdal Oz? •Is Terach all that Bad?

If GOING to Kneaan, Why stop in Charan? Is he going to Knaan or just leaving Ur Kasdim? Sforno- he is going to Knaan ; known as special place of spirituality and promised land from Hashem. Hashem is felt more and direct connection and not affected by Mabul- Avira DEretz Yisrael Machkeem! Rav Hirsch explains that they left due to tough family circumstances but changed direction midway to stay in Charan as opposed to Avraham who listened to kol Hashem. Similarly, the Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh explains that when one has bad mazal in one place- one changes places! Avraham is not having children in this place- he changes location! Alshich Hakadosh explains that man is not zoche to live in Eretz Yisrael unless he is going there for “aseh tov” with positive intentions and not just running away from fire. Here, Terach was running AWAY from fire of Ur Kasdim ;Every day a miracle does not occur!Since he was not running TO Eretz Yisrael, once he got to Charan he stayed there and was fine there. In stark contrast, Avraham Avinu (12:5 )leaves to go to Knaan with the 'aseh tov intention' and came to Knaan for pure chibat haaretz! MalbimWhat led Terach to leave to go to Knaan? Haran his son died ;Avraham does not have children and as a result, Terach has a small family. A person who has a small family at that time is weak in social status. Therefore, Terach is considered inferior to his father Nachor who had many children!In addition, he noticed that Avraham ran from Nimrod and was saved by a miracle ;One cannot always rely on miracles.... As a result, he went to place of family bnei shem and people who fled from Nimrod and his government. The Malbim adds that it was Hashgachat Hashem that Terach did not go to Eretz Yisrael in order that Avraham would be separate from his father's home who were idol worshipers and they would not

join in Birkat Hashem and Yerushat Haaretz! One could claim la”d that these pesukim shed new light on the character of Terach for two important foci. The first is to understand Terach in deeper manner. The second level of understanding has to do with Avraham on two levels. First, Avraham was successful not only in kiruv outside of his home but even in his own home! Furthermore, if one understands as Chazal does that Terach does Teshuva we understand the complexity and difficulty of the lech lecha test of Avraham. Terach has done teshuva and become an eesh acher! At the outset, the Torah tells us about Terach 'A' the Rasha -the first 70 years first life- All the midrashim explain his reeshut. With idols; the Rambam describes how his whole family worships idols ... The Torah repeats Terach having children. Why? The Medrash explains that the Torah states Terach twice after he has done teshuva- he is a new TerachTerach B! He loses his son, this must be heartbreaking... Then things start to look up Avraham and Nachor get married but cant have children … These events help him to see the light! It helps him to do teshuva and see Hashem. As a result, he goes to place of kids and bracha ! As opposed to mefarshim, that Terach left for purely filial reasons or political reasons about nimrod without any theological basis. One could purport that theses events were the impetus for his religious and moral metamorphosis! “Vayeekach Terach” – Terach takes initiative to go to Eretz Yisrael as part of his teshuva process. he is now Rosh Mishpacha and is living a frum life. He stops in Charan and lives frum life. He was intending to go to the Holy land but stopped in Charan and found a good community to learn- He is now giving daf yomi shiur there...... The Torah concludes that he dies there after good life of Terach B. Raises the Bar of Avaham's Test Avraham must be in heaven.... for many years now he has been working on spreading the word of Hashem. Now, in his one home, his father the well-known idol worshiper is a frum Baal Habayit! He must think on some level that this is the ratzon of Hashem. Avraham will team up with Terach and build up Charan....!!! How difficult must it be now to hear lechlecha that Avraham must leave this beis aveecha- not just biological leaving but his dreams of this new beit aveecha! Hashem says the ultimate destiny both on theological, communal and yes filial level is not in Charan but in Eretz Yisrael!!! Now we understand why Beit Aveecha is last as in this new reality, this is most difficult for Avraham!(see Rashi and Ramban) Why does it take 20 generations for Avraham to be the first successful mekarev- to spread Hashem's word?

The Rambam describes how there were individuals before Avraham who recognized Hashem. However most were worshiping the stars including Avraham and his family. Avraham found Hashem through his own thought and spread the word to everyone based on their level of knowledge and sophistication until he was able to spread the word to tens and thousands.... The Raavad asks there was the famed Yeshiva of Shem and Ever- how did they not protest the phenomenon of idol worship?The Raavad answers that it is possible they did protest !However ,they were not able to smash the idols like Avraham since they were hiding them till Avraham came and smashed his fathers. The Kesef Mishneh disagrees with the Raavad since Nimrod and his whole malchut was worshipping publicly and they were selling the idols in stores! Furthermore, there is fundamental difference breaking of the idols was done in bavel. However in Knaan, the fundamental difference in their staure was salient. Avraham went out to the masses to call out Shem Hashem. Shem and Ever taught to their talmidim the way of Hashem but did not take that communal responsibility! The Migdal Oz (talmid of the Rashba) explains the Raavad (kedarko bakodesh):Shem and Ever protested and taught their own talmidim but they did not exemplify mesirut nefesh to be killed like Avraham Avinu. This could be one reason that only Avraham was successful- after 20 generation he was moser nefesh for Hakadosh Baruch Hu. A second possible reason is suggested by Rav Sholom – We know that the mitzvah of kibbud Av and aim is rooted in hakkarat hatov . In addition , the Chinuch explains that when one inculcates this fundamental characteristic into their being, they will also recognize the Ribbono Shel Olam. This could be the backdrop of the story of Avraham and what led him to recognize and publicize Hashem. Avraham's father calls his sons- Avrammeaning my great father, Nachor -the name of his father and Haran also associates with family. The Torah stresses twice who his children are! The Torah emphasizes all the filial relationships when Terach takes his family towards Knanan (where family lives also.... bnei shem...) It all seems superfluous.... unless the Torah is stressing as an introduction and prologue to understand Avraham's greatness- he recognizes his roots- kibbud Av and Aim- leading to recognizing Hashem! In addition, Rabbeinu Bachai explains that even though from simple pshat of the Passuk “Vayeekach Terach” Terach is the one taking the initiative to come to Eretz Yisrael. In reality, it is Avraham who is leading the way- However , Avraham had tremendous Kibbud Av so the Torah emphasizes Terach! • Finally, we see the last Passuk of the Parsha records Terach's death even though it's premature by 65 years! Rashi emphasizes that The Torah records his “death” now since Avraham is leaving to Eretz Yisrael and his father is older it would

seem a lacking in his kibbud av. This could be taken one step further as Rav Kook writes in a letter that even when one worships in the form of Avodat melech- as vulgar and cruel as it is, there is one root of kedusha- recognizing everything comes from Hashem. It is just distorted as we do not believe in sacrificing our children. Similarly, one could suggest the fact that Avraham worshiped idols with his father- was an experience of recognizing a higher authority. He just realized that it was misdirected.....

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