34. Rabbi Elazar was sitting before his father, Rabbi Shimon, together with Rabbi Yehuda, Rabbi Yitzchak, and Rabbi Chizkiyah. Rabbi Elazar asked Rabbi Shimon why it is written, "Get you out of your country, and from your kindred" in the singular. Since they all left UR OF THE CHALDEANS to go to THE LAND OF CANAAN, why was Abraham not told that they all should go?
35. Terach was an idol worshipper, but since his desire to leave with Abraham was truly aroused, and, as we have seen, the Holy One, blessed be He, desires that the wicked repent, as Terach started to leave with Abraham, why does it not say, "Go for yourself" in plural? Why does it say "Go for yourself" to Abraham alone?
36. Rabbi Shimon replied that Terach did not leave Ur of the Chaldeans because he wanted to repent and mend his ways, but only to save himself from all the people of his land, who wanted to kill him. Particularly after they saw that Abraham was saved FROM THE FURNACE OF FIRE, they said to Terach, 'You were the one who misled us with these idols,' AND WANTED TO KILL HIM. Because he feared them, Terach left. THEREFORE, when he reached Charan, he stayed, as it is written, "So Abraham departed, as Hashem had spoken to him, and Lot went with him" (Beresheet 12:4). Terach is not mentioned in the verse!
37. He opened the discussion by saying, "And from the wicked their light is withheld, and the high arm shall be broken" (Iyov 38:16). This passage has already been explained. Nevertheless, "And from the wicked their light is withheld" applies to Nimrod and the people of his generation, whom Abraham left, since he was "their light." "The high arm shall be broken" alludes to Nimrod.
38. Another explanation of the verse, "And from the wicked their light is withheld," is that it applies to Terach and his household, and "their light" is Abraham. The verse does not say 'the light,' but 'their light,' that was among them. THIS REFERS TO ABRAHAM WHO WAS AMONG THEM AND THEN LEFT. "And the high arm shall be broken" applies to Nimrod, who deceived the whole world into following him. And this is why it is written, "Get you out," so that the light may shine for you and for all who will descend from now and henceforth.
39. Furthermore, RABBI SHIMON then discussed the verse, "And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds; but the wind passes, and cleanses them" (Iyov 37:21). "And now men see not the bright light:" when DID THAT HAPPEN? At the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Abraham, "Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house." BECAUSE AFTER ABRAHAM HAD LEFT THEM, THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO SEE THE LIGHT ANYMORE. "The bright light which is in the clouds" ALLUDES TO ABRAHAM, because the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to attach Abraham to the supernal Light and have him shine there.
40. "And the wind passes, and cleanses them" refers to Terach and all the people of his town, all of whom afterwards repented. As it is written, "and the souls that they had made in Charan" (Beresheet 12:5), MEANING THAT THE PEOPLE OF CHARAN REPENTED. The verse, "And you shall come to your fathers in peace" (Beresheet 15:15), INDICATES THAT Terach HAD REPENTED, FOR THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WOULD NOT HAVE SAID THIS TO ABRAHAM OTHERWISE.