Noach: From Generation to Generation
By Rabbi Yonah Burr
וימת תרח בחרן
And Terach died in Charan.
The very last word in this week’s parsha is ‘Charan’. Simply understood, it is the name of a place. Rashi, citing the Sifri, understands the word homiletically. Charan refers to Charon Af, which means anger. The Torah is teaching us that with the passing of Avraham’s father, Terach, a new era began.
Until Avraham, there was anger, meaning Hashem looked towards the world with an attitude of anger. From Avraham and on, Hashem would look at the world with a shining countenance and shower it with blessing.
This begs the question, what changed with the advent of Avraham? There were righteous people before, such as Shem and Ever, who studied and taught Torah. There were and continue to be wicked people after Avraham. What was so different then?
Rav Moshe Feinstein z”l sees in this a powerful message. What made Avraham special was that he took responsibility for transmitting Torah to the next generation. People before him certainly created opportunities to learn, but they didn’t make it their business to ensure that the children would follow in the ways of Hashem.
As it says in Vayeira: כי ידעתיו למען אשר יצוה את בניו ואת ביתו אחריו ושמרו דרך ד' לעשות צדקה ומשפט למען הביא ד' על אברהם את אשר דבר עליו
For I have loved him, because he commands his children and his household after him that they keep the way of Hashem, doing charity and justice.
Hashem’s reason for choosing Avraham was because he would command and instruct his children to follow in the ways of Hashem.
This is the secret of success. When we feel so strongly about our service of Hashem that we feel a responsibility to model and pass it on to our children and to anyone else we can influence. "To keep the way of Hashem, doing charity and justice!"
Have a wonderful Shabbos!