Saturday, October 23, 2021

Avraham's concern for justice

 We know Avraham was greatly concerned with justice.

 When his nephew was captured he risked his life to save him

When Yishmael was kicked out he protested

 When Sodom was to be destroyed he objected that perhaps righteous people would be killed

However when he was told to sacrifice his son - he made no protest at all! Why?


  1. There are a number of ways of looking at this - I think Rav Soloveitchik said this was the surrender to Halakha which he taught in his Halakhic man.

    Nobody in the classical commentaries, as far as i know, has proposed the protest as an option. I recall vaguely some modern thinkers, including Rabbi david Hartman adressing this issue, as well as a non-orthodox Rabbi Anson Laytner (Arguing with G-d) . Laytner may be conservative or liberal but he said he envies orthodoxy because we connect to G-d through halacha!

    Rabbi Cardozo has also raised the question here:

  2. “Avraham's concern for justice” awful title, makes Abraham look bad. Torah thought on this week’s parsha חיי שרה. “Abraham answered him: On no account must you take my son back there השמר לך פן תשיב את בני שמה. The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my native land, who spoke unto me, and who swore unto me ואשר נשבע לי, saying: I will assign this land to your offspring לזרעך אתן את הארץ הזאת. He will send His angel before you, and you will get a wife for my son from there. And if the woman does not consent to follow you, you shall then be clear from this oath to me; but do not take my son back there. So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore to him as bidden.” (Genesis 24:6-9).

    Hertz Chumash p. 82: “Abraham felt strongly that Isaac’s marriage would be an important factor in the fulfilment of the Divine promise. Hence God would help Eliezer in his mission to find a worthy wife for Isaac. He will send His angel before you. An expression denoting that God’s protection and aid would be given him, cf. Exod. Xxiii, 20.”

    Beautiful. My theory. Abraham knew well about rampant fake news in his time that painted him as unjust, thinking only of himself, mean etc. Couldn’t Abraham have saved Lot’s wife too? No. So what she looked back? In the midrash, Lot’s wife borrowed salt from a neighbor and told that neighbor that Lot was violating Sodom’s good rules etc. Horrible: she wanted her own husband and daughters to die.

    Abraham feared that Eliezer and all of Nahor might be taken in by horrible fake news demonizing Abraham: “Then the servant took ten of his master camels and set out; taking with him all the bounty of his master; and he made his way to Aram-naharaim, to the city of Nahor.” (Genesis 24:10 ). Abraham feared that because of the fake news in his time, the whole city of Nahor demonized him but wanted his money. He was so rich. Abraham feared the people in Nahor were like anti-Zionists today in America, waiting for the Messiah. Abraham feared the people in Nahor were like the supporters in America of prenuptial agreements.

    “A prenuptial agreement ("prenup" for short) is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A prenup typically lists all of the property each person owns (as well as any debts) and specifies what each person's property rights will be after the marriage.”

    Abraham remembers: “I will bestow My blessing upon you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands on the seashore, and your descendants shall seize the gates of their foes.” (Genesis 22:17). Abraham was sending messages to us today. To live in Israel. Kethuboth Ch. 13 Mishnah 11
    “AlI can be compelled to move to the Land of Israel but no one may be compelled to move out. All may be forced to go up to Jerusalem but none can be made to leave, whether they be men or women.”

    Horrible, with trickery, easy for a wife to get a NYS civil divorce then she could force a real divorce (Get) on her whim. Susan’s Agunah International solves the Agunah problem, in her bad way.

    Abraham wanted Eliezer to find a suitable wife that would live in Israel and could never force a divorce over Isaac’s objections and would take all of Abraham’s vast wealth to the city of Nahor. Follow, KA?

    I’m a Zionist and against fake news demonizing Bnei Brak. My complaints are alive and well both at NYS Court of Appeals and SCOTUS. God sends His angels to help me. Friday I spoke with the clerk at SCOTUS. She told me what corrections I had to make. She is an angel from heaven.

  3. More on חיי שרה. Rebekah did Kiddushin by agent to Isaac. Kiddushin Ch. 2 Mishnah 1: A man may betroth by himself or by his agent.
    “But will go to the land of my birth כי אל ארצי ואל מולדתי תלך and get a wife ולקחת אשה for my son Isaac לבני ליצחק.” (Genesis 24:4) “But you shall go to my father’s house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.” (Ibid. 38) “Here is Rebekah before you, take her and go, and let her be a wife to your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.’” (Ibid. 51) “They called Rebekah, and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said: I will אלך.” (Ibid. 58).

    Beautiful. Allow me update on me. I’m expressing my theory on what’s wrong with NYS divorce laws. I write today:
    “1.I request permission to submit these papers concerning my motion number 2021--850 return date October 18, 2021. I hear nothing from TIAA or from Susan. There are bad divorce laws in NYS. The Court accepting my motion number 2021--850 return date October 18, 2021 for review will allow the Court to see the urgent need of revising bad divorce laws in NYS. I give here two examples of bad divorce laws in NYS.
    2.NYS Domestic Relations Law \S 236 PART B NEW ACTIONS OR PROCEEDINGS 3. Agreement of the parties. An agreement by the parties, made before or during the marriage, shall be valid and enforceable in a matrimonial action if such agreement is in writing, subscribed by the parties, and acknowledged or proven in the manner required to entitle a deed to be recorded.
    4.Of course during a divorce it's good to have agreements in writing. But I say at the time of the divorce---not from before the marriage and not from during the marriage. Too easy to do fraud that's impossible to prove. Like mail-in-ballots, too easy to do voting fraud that's impossible to prove afterwards. A gold-digger bad woman could easily trick an honest man that wants to marry her to sign a horrible pre-nuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement ("prenup" for short) is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A prenup typically lists all of the property each person owns (as well as any debts) and specifies what each person's property rights will be after the marriage.
    5.NYS Domestic Relations Law \S 236 PART B NEW ACTIONS OR PROCEEDINGS 4. Compulsory financial disclosure. a. In all matrimonial actions and proceedings in which alimony, maintenance or support is in issue, there shall be compulsory disclosure by both parties of their respective financial states. No showing of special circumstances shall be required before such disclosure is ordered. A sworn statement of net worth shall be provided upon receipt of a notice in writing demanding the same, within twenty days after the receipt thereof. In the event said statement is not demanded, it shall be filed with the clerk of the court by each party, within ten days after joinder of issue, in the court in which the proceeding is pending.
    6.What's wrong with forcing financial disclosure? This is like forcing disclosure of Trump's income taxes. An honest good man following all the laws may have good reasons not to want financial disclosure. He may want to keep secrets from his wife or from other parties for good reason. I say let him. Why? His wife or other parties may snitch on him to the IRS or to other agencies. I got investigated by the IRS. They demanded $18,000+ from me and Yemima. I won in USA Tax Court using UPS without a lawyer. I don't know what triggered the IRS audit of my 2010 and 2011 USA form 1040 income taxes I filed from Israel. I remember taking a course on income taxes at NY University with Professor Mauriello who wrote the book. He said the IRS investigates anonymous tips on claims of tax cheats.”

    Someone snitched on me to the IRS to deep audit my 2010 and 2011 USA taxes. Thank you God that I won in USA tax Court (Case 481-15S 01/07/15—11/18/15).

  4. Torah thought on חיי שרה
    Midrash Rabbah - Genesis LX:12
    “AND HER BROTHER AND HER MOTHER SAID, etc. (LX, 55). But where was Bethul? He wished to hinder it, and so he was smitten during the night [He died suddenly]. Thus it is written, “The righteousness of the sincere shall make straight his way צִדְקַת תָּמִים תְּיַשֵּׁר דַּרְכּוֹ ; But the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.” (Proverbs 11:5): The righteousness of the sincere alludes to Isaac; Shall make straight his way, sc. Eliezer’s. But the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness (ib.) alludes to Bethuel, who wished to hinder it and was smitten during the night. LET THE DAMSEL ABIDE WITH US DAYS OR TEN: DAYS refers to the seven days of mourning for him. OR TEN.: this refers to the twelve months granted to a virgin to make her necessary preparations.3
    AND THEY SAID: WE WILL CALL THE DAMSEL, AND INQUIRE AT HER MOUTH (ib. 57). From this we learn that a fatherless maiden may not be given in marriage without her consent. AND THEY CALLED REBEKAH, AND SAID UNTO HER: WILT THOU GO (ib. 58)? R. Uanina, the son of R. Adda, said in R. Isaac’s name: They hinted to her, WILT THOU [ACTUALLY] GO? AND SHE SAID: I WILL GO (ib.): I go in spite of you, whether you wish it or not.
    משלי פרק יא פסוק ג – ז
    (ג) תֻּמַּת יְשָׁרִים תַּנְחֵם וְסֶלֶף בּוֹגְדִים ושדם.
    (ד) לֹא יוֹעִיל הוֹן בְּיוֹם עֶבְרָה וּצְדָקָה תַּצִּיל מִמָּוֶת:
    (ה) צִדְקַת תָּמִים תְּיַשֵּׁר דַּרְכּוֹ וּבְרִשְׁעָתוֹ יִפֹּל רָשָׁע:
    (ו) צִדְקַת יְשָׁרִים תַּצִּילֵם וּבְהַוַּת בֹּגְדִים יִלָּכֵדוּ:
    מלבי"ם משלי פרק יא פסוק ה
    צדקת תמים תישר דרכו, כבר בארנו (בפסוק ג') ההבדל בין ישר ותמים וצדיק, הישר דרכו ישרה בטבע, לא כן התמים, שהגם שגדר התמימות הוא שיהיו מעשיו קיימים תמיד על מצב א' לא ימוט ממנו, עד שאם הוא ישר בטבעו לא ימוש מישרו בשום זמן אבל כל עוד שאינו ישר בטבע אינו בטוח שהוא הולך בדרך ישרה, באר החכם שע"י צדקת תמים, ר"ל ע"י שהתמים התרגל לעשות צדק עי"כ תעשה אצלו כטבע, וההרגל הזה תישר דרכו ללכת בדרך היושר, וברשעתו יפול רשע, הרשע שהוא הפך התמים שהוא מתמיד בקביעות לעשות רשע, הרשעה תעשה קנין בנפשו ותמלא דרכו פחתים ובורות, עד שיפול בם הפלת הנפש לבאר שחת:

    The Malbim says that the Tamim person does righteousness out of habit and nature which makes for going in a straight path. The wicked person is the opposite of the Tamim person: steadfast to do wicked and so his way is full of pitfalls which he stumbles into. Beautiful.

    Update on me: Just out SCOTUS Dockets No. 20-8096 and No. 20-7892 Oct 24 2021 Petition for Rehearing filed Main Document Other proof of Service. I’m still undecided in NYS Court of Appeals Aranoff v Aranoff Mo. No. 2021-850. Wow exciting. Thank you God in heaven.

  5. As i mentioned, when i first saw this post, Rav Soloveitchik gives the idea of surrendering to Hashem. And R David hartman, who set up his own institution, wrote a book " A Living Covenant" where he tries to wrestle with this concept.
    Rabbi Sacks ztl wrote about the "radicals" and said that Rackman was mroe radical than Berkovits; Hartman was more radical than Rackman; and Yitz Greenberg more radical than Harman (i think that was the order).

    But you see, the question posed about why Avraham made no protest - is in modern halachic terms the debate between the Gaon Rav Soloveitchik, who said we have to surrender to Hashem, to Halacha, and the above named radicals, who were in some way conencted to him, and who protested in halacha.

    Why is protsting against the Akeidah any different to protesting against current halacha?


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