Gen. 15 – The Heavens
By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk
Dear Ones, The Missouri Belk’s have been remembering my father’s yahrzeit. Our Torah Discussion is in the loving memory of Mr. George ben Idah, of blessed memory. May he rest in peace and may he be elevated in the Heavens. May his memory be for good.
Genesis 15 is known as the chapter with the ‘Covenant between the Pieces.’ Avram is seventy years old. Sari is Sixty years old. This was in year 2,018 From Creation. It was Abram’s first venture into Eretz Canaan. They would visit then return to Haran. They would leave Haran for the last time in 2,023 From Creation. That is five years away.
In Chapter 15 we learn:
The Lord is Avram’s shield– מָגֵן
Avram and Sari were childless.
Avram is told he would have children – Look to The Heavens … so shall your seed be…
The Lord tells Avram that He delivered him from the fires of the Chaldees…
Avram is instructed to sacrifice…
Avram is informed that his seed will be as strangers in a land that is not their’s. They will be afflicted four hundred years…
The Lord will Judge the nation responsible…
Avram’s Descendants would come forth with great wealth.
In the fourth generation, they will return to The Land of Cannan…
The Lord and Avram made a covenant.
Avram was informed,
:וְאַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֶל־אֲבֹתֶיךָ בְּשָׁלוֹם תִּקָּבֵר בְּשֵׂיבָה טוֹבָה
And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.
The Lord God offers comfort to Avram. ‘[Your Soul] shall go to your fathers in peace.’
Shalom is representative of Success, of Contentment, of Comfort, of Well-Being and of Tranquility. In other Words, Avram was going to the World after this one (Olam Haba). He was going to Heaven… There are many wonderful words for Heaven.
Avram is informed that others he knew in this life would also be there in Heaven, i.e. ‘Your Fathers.’
He was ‘[lovingly] gathered to his people.’ Who were his people? The righteous. The Observant. He was NOT rejected… He was NOT done away with. He was lovingly gathered. He was brought in to his people.
We know that Terach, Avraham’s Father, a former Idol maker repented from Idol making because Avraham joined his father in heaven. Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series – Bereishis Vol. I(a)(Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 531
‘Your Fleshly body will be buried.’
This will happen when you are old.
You will be at a ‘Good Old Age.’ It is not going to be tragic.
We know that the issues between Avraham and Yishmael were resolved because his sons buried him.
And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived, a hundred and seventy-five years.
Then Abraham expired, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.
‘…his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah…’
Dear Ones what we observe here is that Avraham’s soul went to Heaven. He joined other souls already in Heaven. Heaven is a very good place.
May our study be for good!
Blessings, Love and Peace,
Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk