(5:4) tells us that Avraham was tested ten times and he passed them all.
Those tests (usually called "tests of faith") span the two sedras of
Lech L'cha and Vayeira. According to some reckonings, the first test actually
precedes Lech L'cha (the fiery furnace of Nimrod is counted by some) and/or
follows Vayeira with the ordeal of Sara's death and burial (counted by some,
even though the Akeida is considered the ultimate test).
TESTS THE MISHNA is
referring to, the point is that Avraham passed them all.
HE REALLY? HE LEFT ERETZ YISRAEL because
of a famine. Was that the right thing to do? G-d had sent him there and
promised him great success and blessings... in the Land. Maybe he should have
stayed and "toughed it out". Rambam
says that we learn from Avraham's actions that one may leave Eretz Yisrael
temporarily, in the face of severe famine. He implies, however, that leaving
Eretz Yisrael is not the preferred option. He points to Machlon and Kilyon in
this context. Ramban
strongly maintains that Avraham sinned greatly (albeit inadvertently) by
leaving the Land. Commentaries claim that because Avraham went down to Egypt
in the face of the famine, his descendants ended up in Egypt, enslaved and
seems, then, that Avraham did not do so well in "handling" the
"famine test". What does Avot mean in stating, he passed them
AVRAHAM HAVE THROWN HAGAR and
Yishmael out, or should he have come up with a better solution to the problem?
Was Avraham's deal with Avimelech the proper course of conduct?
MAYBE NOT and
irrelevant to the issue of "tests of faith". What is important is
that nothing that happened to Avraham caused him to question his belief and
faith in G-d. Each trial could have led Avraham to doubt and turn his back on
G-d. But none of the trials resulted in a weakening of Avraham's emunah. He
did not react to the famine with, "Why have You forsaken me? He chose
to temporarily leave the Land. Maybe it was the right thing to do under the
circumstances maybe not. But his faith was unshaken always. In this
respect Avraham passed every nisayon.
THE CHILDREN OF AVRAHAM,
are continually faced with "tests of faith", as individuals and as a
community. Sometimes we handle our situations correctly, sometimes we don't.
But we should never lose faith in G-d. We should have a solid commitment to
the idea that "G-d knows what He is doing". When challenged in life,
we should carefully consider our options and alternatives, pray for G-d's
guidance and help, and then "go for it". If we succeed or fail, if
we acted properly or not, those should be the issues of concern. But our faith
in G-d must remain intact, and even increase as consequence of our
experiences. Then we will be the true progeny of Avraham Avinu.
Adapted from Torah