"Get thee out of thy country." (Gen. XII. 1.) "In the preceding chapter it is stated that Haran died in the lifetime of his father Terah, by which words is indicated that up to that time no man had ever died before the decease of his parent. When Abraham was cast into a fiery furnace in Chaldea, Haran was present at the time. As the men of Chaldea beheld the deliverance of Abraham by the Holy One, they seized hold of Haran and in their rage cast him into it, in presence of Terah, his father. As it becomes the general opinion that the Divine Being alone had saved Abraham, many went unto him and said: "We see thou art a believer in the Holy One, the ruler of the world, instruct our children in the way.' Therefore it was said, 'The princes of the people become joined with the God of Abraham.' (Ps. XLVII. 9.)
"Observe the words, 'And Terah took Abraham, his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sara, his daughter-in-law, his son Abraham's wife, and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees.' Terah being the leader, it is
therefore written, 'They went with them and not with him.' The fact is that both Terah and Lot went forth with Abraham and Sara, who were the chief parties that the Holy One wished to save and deliver out of the power of the wicked Chaldeans. As soon as Terah beheld the wonderful deliverance of Abraham out of the fiery furnace, he adopted his faith and became a believer in the one true God, and therefore in saying, 'They went forth with them,' scripture intends to convey that both Terah and Lot became converts to the faith and religion of Abraham and Sara. So, after going forth from Chaldea, it is added, 'to go into the land of Canaan'; that is to say, that as soon as they had fixed their minds to go to Canaan, it was as though they were really there. From this we may infer that from the moment anyone decides to live the life divine, he is aided and assisted by the powers on high. That this is so, may be gathered from the fact that it is only after scripture tells us that Abraham and his brethren decided to leave their native country, we learn that the Lord said unto him, 'Get thee out of thy country.' Observe nothing is ever effected above unless there first be an impulse or effort from below. The reason of this may be illustrated by the different colored parts of the flame of a candle blending together, as has been already described. It is essential that the dark or lower part project itself upward ere the white flame can appear above it. This is why it is written, 'Keep thou not silent; hold thou not thy peace.' (Ps. LXXXIII. 2.) A prayer unto Alhim not to keep back or strain the white ray of heavenly light from descending upon the earth beneath; and furthermore it is written, 'I have set watchmen upon thy walls, oh Jerusalem, which, shall never hold their peace, neither day nor night; ye that make mention of the Lord keep not silence and give him no rest until he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.' (Is. LXII. 6-7.) From these words we learn that heavenly gifts and blessings descend only when by acts and deeds we qualify ourselves for their reception. Observe that it is distinctly stated, Terah and all his family quitted Ur of the Chaldees, and that then the divine command was given to Abraham, 'get thee out of thy country,' when he had already done so and was on his77b way to the land of Canaan. How is this invasion of the real facts to be explained?"
Said Rabbi Eleazar: "By the order, 'Get thee out of thy country.' God intimated that it was better for Abraham and to his interest that he should do so, as his future safety depended upon his immediate departure from amongst his enemies."