Why was Avraham the only person that, according to tradition, was tested by God 10 times?

  • 3
    Where does it say that only he was? Nov 5, 2012 at 1:39
  • Are you implying everyone else gets tested more or less than 10 times?
    – Double AA
    Nov 5, 2012 at 4:23
  • from logic it would seem that he was tested because he was the one from where the nation of israel would start and also from passing these test we as grandchildren are able to survive galus.
    – sam
    Nov 6, 2012 at 19:41

2 Answers 2


According to Kabbalah in Zohar, just like Avraham was tested with 10 trials, so is everyone. That means every person has 10 major tests in his lifetime.

Rav Moshe Feinstein in his Darash Moshe (Genesis 25:27, ArtScroll Judaica Classics, page 48):

Avraham had the ten trials, and Yitzchak allowed himself to be bound on the Altar; and yet, it is Yaakov who is the "select one of the Patriarchs," and whose face is engraved on the Throne of Glory. What is special about "יעקב איש תם יושב אוהלים," Yaakov, the wholesome one who dwelled in tents (Bereishit 25:27), that Avraham and Yitzchak, who withstood many trials, didn't have?

Rav Moshe answered that Yaakov dedicated himself "constantly and exclusively to Torah and mitzvos, which is greater than any trial.

It was this greatness possessed by Jacob, who abided in tents and devoted himself to Torah study, that merited him the titles and honors cited above.

  • 2
    Your answer would be a lot more useful if you could provide a source for the idea that every person is faced with ten trials throughout their life.
    – Michoel
    Apr 14, 2013 at 3:44
  • 3
    Where in the Zohar? Where in Darash Moshe?
    – Double AA
    Apr 14, 2013 at 5:01
  • 1
    @Shmuel -- I disagree with your edit on two counts: the first is that it was incorrect to add blockquote formatting to the paragraph that you did, as that was a paraphrase, and not a quote. Second of all, the picture serves no purpose, because all the relevant information is here, including the name of the book and the page number, so the image is superfluous, and may even cause harm. If you'd like to discuss this further, take it to Bam.
    – MTL
    Feb 6, 2015 at 18:28
  • @Shokhet I think including a link to a picture of the page is valuable and not confusing if appropriately described. Consider my last link here judaism.stackexchange.com/a/45666/759
    – Double AA
    Feb 6, 2015 at 19:18
  • @DoubleAA There are times where it could be useful, but I don't think that this is one of them. All the information (including a partial quote) is right here, in the answer.
    – MTL
    Feb 6, 2015 at 19:24

The 10 tests of Avraham were exceedingly difficult.

perhaps it is because only Avraham had the potential to pass such difficult tests and be an example for humanity. it seems there was something unique about him.

some sources Job 38:2

"Who is this who gives dark counsel, with words, without knowledge" - Rashi: Dark and foolish counsel. Another explanation: Who is this who gives dark counsel… without knowledge? Said the Holy One, blessed be He: Who is this who darkens counsel, frustrates words, i.e., with a multiplicity of words; for I wrote: “and that man was sincere and upright,” at the beginning of the Book, in order that My name should rest on Him, but he came and darkened and frustrated what I counseled with his many words. Whereupon Job replies to Him (below 42:3): “Who is this Who hides counsel?” Had I known Your counsel, I would not have spoken so much. Then the Holy One blessed be He, answers him, “Neither did Abraham know; yet he passed ten” [tests].

Chovos Halevavos gate 10:

"Such too were the sentiments and conducts of the early pious ones who were subjected to trials, such as Daniel in the lion's den and his three companions in the fiery furnace, the ten martyrs, and those who conducted themselves as them"

Tov Halevanon commentary: those tests are not comparable to the test of Avraham, because the tests of other pious ones came from other human beings' wickedness and free will on them, and G-d helped those pious ones to stand up to the test, and sanctify His Name, sometimes G-d even performed miracles for them. But in the test of Avraham, however, G-d Himself tested him, and Avraham himself stood up to the test on his own, without help, out of his great piety.

"the greatest man among the anakim (giants)" Joshua 14:15 (Shemot Rabba 28:1, Vayikra Rabba 29:8, and elsewhere) explain the verse as referring to Avraham.

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