In this parsha we meet our first forefather Avraham, who is commanded by Hashem to leave his land, his birthplace and fathers house to go to a land he will inherit.  This happens about 2000 years before the common era, and Hashem promises to make him into a great nation and bless him throughout the world.  Avraham becomes a man with a historic mission, to become the father of a new nation which would through its suffering and pain, profoundly influence our civilization.

 Who was this man Avraham, whom Hashem chose to enter into an everlasting covenant?  Avraham was the son of a pagan, and grew up in an environment of evil.  But he rose above this environment and created a way of life and religion we call our heritage.  He chose to be different to become the first Hebrew, (which means literally “from the other side”), he spoke with moral standards of his time, and pursued his quest for a better and more meaningful way. 

 Avraham showed that a person can make a new beginning.  By example, by deed, by holding to an ideal, one person can touch another he, in turn, yet another.  Let us all reach out as Avraham exemplifies to touch one another and change the world for a better and more peaceful place.

 Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Gabe Elias

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