Thursday, October 18, 2007

Random Thoughts on Lech Lecha

1) Isn't it interesting how in the passuk immediately after HaShem grants Avram the powers of active and passive blessing, he is joined by Lot, a person whose name in Aramaic means curse? (And Lot himself was an Aramean by birth, making it even more significant). Rashi on 13:14 points out that Lot was not a rasha at this point, as HaShem was still "on speaking terms" with Avram a few pesukim later, but it's still curious how Lot got such a name and what its greater significance may be.

2) Although when HaShem commanded Avram to traverse the land along its length and width he merely shifted his tent ~20 miles south from between Beth-el and Ha-ai to Chevron, it may be that he fulfilled the former part of the command when he later pursued the forces of Kedarlaomer to Dan (14:14) and when he settled in what he would later call Be'er Sheva (21:31), and that he fulfilled the latter part of the command through his activities with Sodom, near what would later become the Dead Sea, and with Gerar, near the western coast.

3) When the 5 cities rebelled against Kedarlaomer, why did he react by first smiting the Refaim, Zuzim, Emim, Chorim, inhabitants of S'deih HaAmaleki, and Emori of Chatz'tzon Tamar who ostensibly were not part of the battle? Perhaps the 5 cities had turned to these nations for help in their rebellion (The Refaim and Emim are listed in Devarim 2 as having been mighty, giant nations).

4) What's the significance of Malkitzedek and Avram's usages of the term "Keil Elyon" to refer to HaShem following the War of the 4 Kings? This seems to have been the first time that "HaShem's army" took to the field against other armies, as opposed to His fighting against nations through supernatural means, so perhaps now He could effectively be called the "highest Power", having been compared to the other powers on their own terms.

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At 10/29/2007 3:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re (2) very interesting.

Re (3) read Pirkei Haavot by R' Yoel Bin Nun, he has a great discussion of this.


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