Thoughts from Kollel KLAL


The passuk states, Hashem tells Avraham “קח נא את בנך את יחידך אשר אהבת את יצחק ולך לך אל ארץ המוריה take your son, your only one, that which you love, Yitzchak, and go to Eretz HaMoriah.” What place is Eretz HaMoriah and why is it called Moriah? Rashi explains that Moriah is Yerushalayim as the passuk states “to build the Bais Hashem in Yerushalayim in Har HaMoriah.”

Rashi brings Onkelos translates Moriah as פלחנא, a land of avodah, service. Rashi explains this refers to the avodah of ketores, as one of its eleven herbs was called mohr (מור). The Nesina LaGer explains that Moriah is from the lashon mohr. This is as the passuk states in Shir HaShirim אלך לי אל הר המור which refers to the mountain of the Bais HaMikdosh. The Ramban adds that the land was going to be called Moriah in the future or it was already called Moriah because of the incense mohr which will be offered. The Ramban is bothered though, Onkelos’ translation of פלחנא which means avodah, service, does not reflect mohr. If Onkelos meant the offering of ketores, he should translate as קטרת בוסמין, ketores incense. Also, there were eleven herbs which were needed to make the ketores, why would Moriah be called after mohr, and not after any other herb? The Ramban explains that Onkelos translates as avodah, service, which is not related to any of the herbs. Rather, Moriah is from the lashon מורא fear, hinting to performing any avodah in the Bais HaMikdosh. Moriah is the land where people will serve Hashem and fear Him.

Later in the parsha it states ויבן שם אברהם את המזבח and Avraham built the mizbeiyach there. The Pirkei D’Rebbi Elazar brings: Hashem showed Avraham Avinu with His finger the mizbeiyach where he was meant to bring up Yitzchak as a sacrifice. It was the same mizbeiyach on which Adam HaRishon offered korbanos, as well as Kayin and Hevel, and Noach and his sons. This is as it states את המזבח, the mizbeiyach, not מזבח a mizbeiyach. It was the same mizbeiyach on which the earlier generations brought korbanos. The Ramban explains Hashem showed Avraham to go to the place where avodah had already been performed.


In Tehillim it states נורא אלוקים ממקדשך. Metzudos Dovid explains, because of the honor of Hashem which rested in the Mikdash people will come to yiras Hashem, since from there went out wondrous miracles. In Parshas Re’eh by ma’aser sheni it states למען תלמד ליראה את ה’ אלוקיך כל הימים in order to fear Hashem your G-d all the days. Tosfos explains ma’aser sheni is great since it brought to learning Torah. One would stand in Yerushalayim to eat his ma’aser sheni and he would see all of the people involved in avodas Hashem. He too would be directed to have yiras Shamayim and learn Torah. The Mabit adds, when the Bais HaMikdosh existed and the Shechinah rested amongst Klal Yisrael, it was well known that the hashgacha of Hashem was revealed and recognized by everyone publically. There were miracles constantly happening with the nation, aside for the ten miracles in the Bais HaMikdosh, and there were too many to list.

After Avraham brought the ram in place of Yitzchak it states “ויקרא אברהם שם המקום ההוא ה’ יראה…” which Onkelos translates as “And Avraham did avodah and davened in that place, saying, ‘Here the generations will do avodah, and later it will be said, ‘we perform avodah on this mountain just as Avraham did avodah before Hashem on this mountain.’” Har HaMoriah hints to Avraham’s avodah and future generations’ avodah.

The Beraishis Rabbah brings, Sheim called the Bais HaMikdosh שלם, complete, and Avraham called it יראה, fear, and together it is called ירושלים, Yerushalayim. We see that the Bais HaMikdosh was a place where avodah was performed and which brought to fear of Hashem. May Hashem rebuild the Bais HaMikdosh, and bring back the avodah together with yiras Shamayim.

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