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“According to tradition (Avos 5:3), God put Avraham to the test ten times, and he passed them all with flying colors. It is generally accepted that the ten tests were progressively harder, that once he proved himself in a lesser test, Hashem presented him with a more difficult test until he proved himself to have the highest level of faith. It is also generally accepted that the tenth and most difficult test was the Akeidah. After all, what could be more challenging than to be commanded to sacrifice the treasured child born to him in his old age? [The long awaited Child they received in old age, the child who would have to secure the Divine Blessing to Avraham of a multitudious decendancy to inherit the Land]
Rabbeinu Yonah in Avos (ibid.), however, lists the Akeidah as the ninth test. What was the tenth? When Avraham could not find a place to bury Sarah, he was forced to buy a plot from Ephron for an exorbitant sum.
The question springs out from the pages. True, it must have been exceedingly frustrating for Avraham to be forced to pay anything at all, let alone an exorbitant sum, for land Hashem had promised him as an everlasting birthright. True, it must have been difficult to deal with this frustration in his bereavement over the death of his wife Sarah. But still, is this at all comparable to the test of the Akeidah? Does this even begin to come close to being asked to sacrifice a son on the altar?
When Avraham came back from the Akeidah, he had reached a level of achievement so exalted that the Jewish [Israelite] people throughout history are sustained by its merit. It undoubtedly took every last ounce of spiritual courage and fortitude he could muster to withstand such a horrific ordeal. And he did it! Avraham found those hidden reservoirs of strength and faith, and he showed himself ready to sacrifice his son if Hashem so commanded. And in the end, everything had worked out for the best. He had proved himself, and his son’s life had been spared. Avraham returned home with a sense of boundless relief, ready to share his experience with his wife. One can imagine his shock when he found her dead, and his frustration when he encountered so many difficulties in bringing her to eternal rest
Consider the situation. Avraham finds himself forced to conduct business dealings with the wily and duplicitous Ephron. He is exceedingly frustrated both by his own circumstances and by Ephron’s opportunistic behavior. [Even at this late stage in his life, still no sign of owning the Land and now even having to pay enormous amounts for a burial corner in ‘The Promised Land’].
How does he conduct himself?”
[He set a great example for the world: He persisted in his Faith on the Promises of God, unconditionally/]
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Be sure to see the enlightening video regarding the importance of Hebron for the restoration of the Original Bible Land to serve as the territory for the establishment of the Universal Kingdom of the Creator, God of Israel. Though comprehensive and in-depth, this video commentary also sheds light on several other intricate and little understood topics of the Bible. A MUST SEE.