Thursday, November 06, 2014

too much knowledge

There is a nice vort of the Noam Elimelech on this week's parsha that I think is even sharper if you put it in the context of Avraham’s question of "Bameh eidah?" When Avraham is travelling to the akeidah, it says, "Va'yar es hamakom mei’rachok,” he saw the place from afar.  What did Avraham see?  How did he recognize the place he was supposed to go to?  Rashi explains that Avraham saw a cloud that hovered on Har HaMoriya.  But it’s still strange that the Torah tells us that he spotted the place even before he got there – of what consequence is that information?  The Noam Elimelech reads the pasuk figuratively and sees it as telling us something critical about the akeidah.  The word “makom” alludes to another pasuk later on in Braishis: when Ya’akov is travelling to Lavan’s house at it says, “Vayifga bamakom...” and there he dreams of the angels going up and down.  This is what Avraham saw --  Avraham knew that he would have a grandchild that would be Ya’akov Avinu, and therefore he also knew that there had to be a Yitzchak Avinu in between.   The greatness of Avraham is that he put that knowledge completely out of his mind so that the akeidah would be a real test.   He saw that “makom” of Ya'akov, but it was “rachok,” something that he distanced himself from, lest it interfere with the nisayon at hand.  My 2 cents: if Avraham’s sin of "bameh eidah" was in seeking too much knowledge, then what better tikun could there be than his forsaking knowledge, ignoring the knowledge of the “makom” of Ya’akov Avinu, in order to approach the challenge of the akeidah with simple emunah?  

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