Hakores HaTov: I acknowledge and sincerely thank the four rabbinic teachers from whom I have learned whatever I know of Torah, measurable in volume to one half of a thimble, and that might be overstating it. I am not, however, complaining: the power of Torah is such that even a half thimbleful can keep you up at night.
Notes from Reb Moshe's shiur on October 13, 2013.
"I first heard it from my father when I was about fourteen or so that 'living as a Torah observant Jew al Kiddush Hashem was more important for the Jewish people than being obligated to die as one al kiddush Hashem."
Kiddush Hashem? It translates as "sanctification of The Name".
If we begin with the certainty that G-d knew in advance how special Abraham was, what reason would there have been to test him, not once, not twice or even thrice but ten times?' Of the three avot, (fathers, patriarchs) of the Jewish nation, Abraham was the best-suited to bring knowledge of Hashem to the nations of the world.
From an early time in his life, was it not he whom G-d chose to “Go for yourself from this land, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land I will show you.” (Parashas Lech Lecha)
The people of the world had to see that the One God of whom Abraham spoke had indeed chosen His messenger carefully.
Carrying news of this one unique god who could create and destroy, Abraham-as he had previously done to the idols in his father’s shop according to the midrash-cast the pantheon of the ancient world into the dustbin of history.
When we speak of God, as we do in The Thirteen Attributes, we do not call Him by name so much as we list the qualities upon which we depend for our very lives.
Why should He, the One and only god, be summoned as if He were not existentially different than everyone else and everything, animate or not?
Logically He should not.
If there is one thing the Jews have always known, it is that (unrestrained) familiarity breeds contempt; thus, no matter how personal is the relationship between G-d and the Jewish people, no man-not even Moses-could see His face and live.