Roots: Part II: The Patriarchs
Mike Martin - December 9, 2008
The story of Abraham is really the opening chapter in the history of the Jews. It was Abraham descended from Noah and the survivors of the great flood who was promised the divine blessing of the one true G-d if he and his people would remain steadfast in their honour and respect of Him. Abraham was in fact the first true believer in HaShem and it is true that the bond between HaShem and his chosen people was established and cemented.
Jozsef Molnar: Abraham's Journey
Abraham was reported born at Ur in the Chaldees region of Mesopotamia. He was the son of Terah, who ironically was a maker and seller of religious icons. There are many stories in the Tanach about a young Abraham mocking and even destroying these symbols of what he believed to be idolatrous images of false G-ds and prophets. Even early in life Abraham knew that there had to be a greater G-d than the one that his birth people followed and worshipped.
Abraham journeyed far from home with his father and his wife Sarah. They had originally planned to stay in Canaan but stopped at Haran where Terah died. It was here that Abraham was visited by HaShem for the first time and revealed to him the divine promises of a nation and protection for a people who would loyally obey his directions. HaShem instructed Abraham to set out in search of this new homeland and over many years Abraham lived in Canaan, Egypt, the Negeb, Hebron, Gezer, Be'er-Sheva and back to Hebron where he and his wife Sarah eventually died. Through all of these journeys they are severely tested by famine and natural disasters but under the graceful protection of HaShem they survive and prosper.
One of the other great promises made to Abraham by HaShem was one of abundant offspring and at the reported age of 86 his son Ishmael was born through Hagar, the handmaiden of his now barren wife Sarah.
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