Recognizing Hashem

Rabbi Avigdor Miller explains why Abraham was chosen for some of the most important revelations that ever occurred.

HaRav Avigdor Miller zts"l

Judaism HaRav Avigdor Miller zts"l
HaRav Avigdor Miller zts"l
INN:Toras Avigdor

From Abraham’s life, we see that to recognize Hashem while living in a world of idolatry is the greatest of all accomplishments, because Abraham proceeded to become the most important person in history.

"On the far side of the River [the Euphrates] your fathers had always dwelt : Terach the father of Abraham and the father of Nachor, and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the far side of the River and I led him through all the land of Canaan." (Joshua 24:2-3)

It is understandable that Hashem would not bestow a prophetic visitation upon a son of a family of idolaters, unless that son had succeeded in freeing himself from the errors of his family and had discovered the truth of the One Creator. But since no written Torah was available, and since Abraham grew up without any teachers of the truth, we understand that he learned the truth from the phenomena of Nature.

By studying the plan and purpose that the world demonstrates in every one of its phenomena, Abraham came to the realization of a Designer whose wisdom was fathomless.

By viewing the kindliness that was evident in all the objects and processes of Nature, Abraham learned that the intention of the Great Designer was to afford Mankind countless benefits and pleasures.

He persisted in this study for long years, and he taught it to his wife Sarah; and he preached it to others constantly all his days. Finally his awareness of the Creator increased so greatly that he arrived at the threshold of prophecy.  

The fact that Hashem spoke to a man was an event of stupendous magnitude.

Did Hashem speak to any else in this era? Even if such was the case, it is dwarfed into insignificance, because the prophecy to Abraham is the sole instance reported in the Torah. Even to Abraham, during his long lifetime, only ten such visitations were granted.

Only to Abraham was G-d reported to have spoken, thus demonstrating that he was chosen from all Mankind: "that You chose Abraham" (Nehemiah 9:7). Although this choice was of necessity limited to the seed of Shem (see 9:27), yet the seed of Shem was already numerous (11:10-25).

This visitation from G-d was therefore a sign that Abram was the best of the house of Shem, and thus the best of all men. (From The Beginning)