Zohar Lech Lecha
Abram’s father, Terah, was an idol worshiper and big merchant of idols. Abram did not connect to those idols and actually caused a lot of damage to his father’s business by sending away customers and breaking idols. One time a woman brought offerings for the idols and Abram took the opportunity and broke all the idols leaving only the large one with big iron rod in his hand. When his father came back to the store and asked why he did it, Abram explained that a woman came with offerings and all the idol fought about who would be the first to get it. At the end the big idol was victorious and the proof was standing before him. His father knew immediately who caused the damage and took his son to the king, Nimrod, asking for his advice.
The king tried to force Abram to worship the fire and other gods but Abram refused, giving him answers that the king didn’t like to hear. He ordered his slaves to tie down Abram and throw him into a big furnace. No one could come close to the fire because of the heat. The ropes that tied Abram burned as they threw him inside and he walked freely inside the fire as if it was nothing. The king called Abram to come out and he did walk out unharmed. Next thing they threw his brother, Haran into the fire and he died immediately.
Rabbi Abraham Azulai in his commentary to the Zohar, “Ohr Hachama”, explains that Abram’s experience was a correction to Adam’s aspect of idol worshiping.
“וַיָּמָת הָרָן, עַל-פְּנֵי תֶּרַח אָבִיו, בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹלַדְתּוֹ, בְּאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים.”
“Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans.”
To explain this verse the Zohar explains that until that time no child died before their fathers.
The father, Terah, saw Haran’s death and realized that Abram’s God was real. He accepted his son’s faith in the true God and left the idols and the wicked city behind.
Because of that Terah had the merit to be mentioned in the Torah as the one who took Abram out of the city to the land of Canaan.
Genesis 11:31 “Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.”
The Zohar reveals that when Terah and Abram left Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan, God revealed himself to Abram telling him Lech Lecha, which means “Go for yourself”. Abram wanted to go toward the Light and God helped him and promised the Holy Land to him and all of his generations.
The lesson that the Zohar teaches us is that when a person chooses to follow the Light, God helps him.
In other words, if you have the proper vessel the Light will come to support you in fulfilling the purpose of the vessel.