Sedra NoAch 120 Words, Pagan Nachas
We hear what we want to hear, we even see what we want to see. Or, none are so blind as those who will not see.
The Torah points the finger at Terach, for the death of Haran, his own son (Rashi 11:28) by using the unusual expression “Haran died on the face of his father”.
Terach was more devoted to his friendships, society and comfort zone than to his family. When Avram, his son, ridiculed Terach’s pagan worship – by blaming the biggest baddest idol of having trashed all the other idols in the family temple – Terach dobbed in his renegade son to the authorities, who patiently tried to persuade Avram to be reasonable by threatening and then throwing him into a furnace.
What were all those gathered there for this gala performance have thought when Avram is unharmed by the intense heat? Was Terach perhaps thinking, “This robs me of my glory, the father who eliminates his own son for the greater glory of Paganism.”?
Avram’s brother Haral was in two minds, but not after seeing the great salvation of Avram. So he too opts for the miraculous salvation. It didn’t happen. Haran was incinerated, immolated and brought his father Terach much Pagan Nachas [happiness]. All could see on his face how proud he was to have triumphed on behalf of the pagans and their society.