Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

True Love

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

...you did not even withhold your son, your only son from Me. (Bereshith 22:12)

Anyone would find it nearly impossible to sacrifice his own son, but this test was exceedingly difficult even for Avraham. In addition to having to overcome his natural, human love for his son, Avraham had an additional difficulty. Throughout his life, Avraham had always fought and spoken out against those who gave their offspring as human sacrifices to idols. In offering his own son on the altar, he was effectively denying everything that he stood for. Though Avraham might have feared that being seen as a hypocrite would undermine his efforts to eliminate idol worship, that was not enough to deter him from listening to the Divine command, and he unequivocally went ahead to perform His will.

There are very few individuals who can attain such single-minded devotion to God. Anyone inspired by ulterior motives is in danger of abandoning their beliefs when these outside influences are no longer present. Only unadulterated determination to do the truth solely because it is the truth can be considered “true love.” Because of the purity of his intentions Avraham is called “God’s beloved (1).”

How does God reward someone who achieves such a bond of closeness with Him? The ultimate expression of love is constant concern that one’s beloved not suffer even the slightest unnecessary anguish. On a human level this is close to impossible, for there are countless causes of distress which are out of our control. God, however, has all resources at His disposal, and can protect a person from whatever He desires. Someone capable of achieving such an intimate relationship with God receives special Divine Providence, so God annuls any adverse decrees against him, and makes sure that not even the slightest bad news reaches his ears (2). Once Avraham passed his final test of being willing to sacrifice his son, he became worthy of that special Divine protection.


1. Rambam Mishnah Torah, Laws of Repentance 10:2.
2. Shabboth 63a.


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

People In Stone Houses Shouldn
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Out of the Darkness
Shlomo Katz - 5773

A Flood of Something...
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Certain Things Noach Did Not Have To Worry About
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5775

Tire of Babel
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

How To Need Nothing And Have Everything
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Day Falsehood Married Destruction
Shlomo Katz - 5761

The Best Policy
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

Survival Syndrome
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5775

ArtScroll

Perceptions - Noach
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Beyond Youth
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Love versus Fear
Shlomo Katz - 5763

> A Wasted Tragedy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5762

Now -A Hopeful Place
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Lesson of the Ravens
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

Send The Guinea Pig!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information