Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

[et_bloom_inline optin_id="optin_1"]

“Go away from your land.” (12:1)

Download PDF

We may note the contrast between the Torah’s introductory description of Noach and its initial description of Avraham. The Torah praises Noach, citing his righteous character and faultless behavior. The Torah does not present Avraham Avinu with a similarly positive orientation although he is acknowledged as a righteous and G-d-fearing man. The Maharal explains that Avraham is not described as one who possesses unique characteristics and noble qualities, so that one will not infer that these qualities are the basis for his distinction. Had this been the reality, Am Yisroel would be at risk to lose its special status if the people do not live up to his example. Consequently, the Torah presents Avraham simply as an individual, without lauding his virtue. This approach demonstrates that Avraham and his descendants were chosen by Hashem solely because it was His desire. This “arbitrary” choice will never be annulled. Am Yisrael’s relationship with Hashem is founded upon Hashem’s sacred love for them. The Maharal’s explanation should serve as a lesson in the appropriate perspective by which one should view his fellow Jew. Just as Hashem loves all Jews, for they are zerah kodesh, sacred offspring, despite their mistakes, we are obligated to do the same.