Thursday, November 09, 2006

was avraham a yisrael or a ben noach?

Was Avraham a Yisrael or a ben Noach? Before you get to essays in the Parashas Derachim (who made the question famous) and fancy questions of whether Avraham kept Shabbos (mitzvah on a yisrael, but assur for a ben Noach), take a look at this Rashi in Avodah Zarah daf 3a d”h Nimrod, my rough translation: “Nimrod threw Avraham Avinu in Ur Kasdim because Avraham refused to accept the worship of idolotry which is prohibited to a ben Noach. Avraham was a ben Noach, for he was not present at mattan Torah…”


  1. I saw that Rashi last week when I was preparing for my shiur on this toipic.

    Another rishon is teh Ran in Sanhedrin quoted by R' Elchanan in Baba Basra Sima 54. I couldn't find the Ran but accordingto R' Elchanan he says that the Ran holds Avraham was a Ben Noach.

    Rishonim who hold the opposite are the Ramban quoted in Parshas Derachim at end of Emor and the Meiri in Yevamos 46a.

  2. Have not seen the Meiri, but the Ramban is not a clear proof, as discussed previously
    It is far from a clear and unambiguous statement like Rashi makes

  3. Although R'Elchanan uses the Ramban as a clear proof.