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“Now I know that you are a G-d fearing man”. (22:12)

Avrohom was tested by Hashem with ten trials, each one more difficult that the other. The tenth and most difficult one was the Akeidas Yitzchok. It was only after Avrohom passed this test that Hashem said to him, “Now I know that you are a G-d fearing man.” One may ask, what of Yitzchok’s part in this test? Yitzchok’s achievement in this test was awesome! His performance prior and during the actual Akeida remains as an everlasting merit for the Jewish people. Why then is the trial aspect of the Akeida not ascribed to Yitzchok as well? Yitzchok was ready…

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“Who am I, but dust and ashes.” (18:27)

  Rashi comments: “I was already fit to be dust at the hands of the kings and ashes at the hands of Nimrod, were it not for Your mercy which stood by me.” There is an obvious perplexity in Rashi‘s commentary. The posuk implies that Avrohom is speaking in the present tense – “and I am“, however, according to Rashi, Avrohom seems to be referring to what might have been had he not been spared by Hashem.   Rashi, is teaching us a great lesson regarding the character trait of hakoras hatov, gratitude. When one is spared from certain death…

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“If I will find in Sodom fifty righteous in the midst of the city, I will forgive the whole district for their sake.” (18:26)

The Talmud comments that those who say: “What do we benefit from the Rabbis, they study only for themselves” are considered non-believers (Sanhedrin 99b). One of the sources mentioned is the above posuk where it is implied that Hashem was willing to spare the city of Sodom because of the few righteous people that lived there. Imagine! Had there been righteous people in Sodom the city would have been spared, and life would have continued as normal. No one would have realized that they have been destined to die, but they were spared only due to the merits of a…

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“Perhaps there are fifty righteous men in the midst of the city.” ( 18:24)

The emphasis is in the words “in the midst of the city”. Avrohom did not ask forgiveness for the sake of fifty righteous men who happened to live in the city. The righteous man in the midst of Sodom’s depravity is not one who clings to his sheltered environment smug with pride over his own superiority, and who, therefore, thinks he has accomplished enough if he has saved himself and his household. Such a person does not fulfill Avrohom’s criteria of a righteous person. His righteous person can be found in the midst of the city, and in his living…

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