Parashat Vayera: Avraham's Will Indicates G-d's Will

[Tal Chermon]

Avraham's discussion with Hashem over the inhabitants of Sedom was not a prayer or a petition – it was a debate. Avraham argued with Him, saying: it is inconceivable and sacrilegious that the judge of the entire universe should perform such an unjust act (Bereshit 18:25). This debate in fact paralleled the deliberations that were taking place in the Heavenly Court on the fate of Sedom (Sha'arei Orah). While different Divine attributes, so to speak, were hammering out the issue above, Avraham was like a radio receiver with a large antenna, receiving the heavenly broadcast. He then acted as the mouthpiece for the quality of kindness. Because of his close affinity to, his love of and his faith in G-d, G-d revealed His own will through him, so that Avraham was in fact expressing Hashem's own inner will.
This is the reason that the righteous are able to decree, and Hashem fulfills their desire (See Shabbat 59b and Taanit 23a). Or, in even more extreme cases, that the righteous are able to overturn G-d’s decree (Moed Katan 16a). All this does not mean, G-d forbid, that G-d wants one thing, while the righteous wants another and that Hashem changes His mind. No, there can be no inner change in the essence of G-d or of His will. Simply, the righteous person's will is one aspect of G-d's will and he expresses this particular point vocally.
This is also the explanation for why a curse pronounced by a Torah scholar, even if undeserved, is fulfilled (Makkot 11a and elsewhere). The curse is really a Divine protest against a particular state of affairs. And even though not all the conditions for its implementation apply, the protest stands. As, for example, when King David excavated the foundation of the Temple, the waters of the depth surged up and wanted to flood the world. King David thought of inscribing the Divine Name on a shard and casting it into the depths in order to quell the waters. There was, however, a halachic doubt: did the saving of the world justify the erasing of the Divine Name that would inevitably result from casting the shard into the depths? King David asked if anyone knew the answer, but no one replied. Only when King David threatened that anyone who knew the Halachah but did not speak up would be strangled, did Achitopel respond and say that it was permitted. Despite the fact that Achitopel revealed the answer in the end, King David's curse (inspired by a spark of the Divine will) clung to him and Achitopel died by strangulation (As described in Shmuel 2 17:23). This happened because Achitophel was in essence a negative personality, even though he did not act criminally on this specific occasion.
And thus we see that Avraham is a truly righteous person, whose own will is a faithful reflection of the Divine will.