Food of Fanatics

October 24, 2017 at 1:11 AM , , ,
…And the fugitive came and told Avram the Hebrew…..” (Bereishit 14:13)

״….ויבוא הפליט ויגד לאברם העברי…- בראשית יד,יג

The fugitive was Og. Why was he called Og? Because when he came, he found Avram busy with the mitzvah of ugos, cakes [as matzah is called in Shemos 12:39. – ed.] Og’s intentions were not for the sake of Heaven. Rather, he thought, “This Avram is a zealot. I’ll tell him, ‘your nephew has been taken captive’ and he will go out to war and get killed. Then I will take Sarai, his wife.” —Beraishis Rabba 42

Og’s encounter with Avram while the latter was fulfilling the mitzvah of Matzah played a critical role in molding Og’s plans. That is why the Midrash states two seemingly unrelated facts about Og’s name and his motives in immediate succession.

Matzah is called “food of faith” in the Zohar. Avram’s engrossment in this faith-building activity reflected his super-rational commitment to G-d, a relationship that focused more on faith than on reason.

Such a person, reasoned Og, is radical, and capable of behaving totally irrationally. Og was therefore certain that, despite the obvious risks and questionable outcome, Avram would unreasonably jeopardize his own life to try and save his nephew.

It was thus the Matzah that led Og to conclude that if he shares with Avram that Lot had been taken captive, it would create a perfect opportunity to take this fanatic’s beautiful wife as his own.


—Reshimos 17

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