Avraham Avinu

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Avraham Avinu was the forefather of the Nation of Yisroel and one of the three Avos. Saved from near execution by Nimrod as an infant, he spent his early childhood hiding in a cave. At age three Avraham recognized G-D on his own account, reaching full comprehension by the age of forty. After studying for years in the academy of Shem and Ever, Avraham began traveling the world preaching his new faith. Avraham Avinu created the teachings that eventually formed the Sefer Yetzirah.


[edit] Childhood

[edit] Birth

Avram was born to Terach the son of Nachor and Amtelah the daughter of Karneba. Terach was a leading minister of Nimrod who ruled the world and had managed to turn all mankind to worship idolatry. On the night of Avraham's birth, Terach made a celebration feast that was attended by many of Nimrod's advisers and astrologers. Upon leaving, they viewed a large star in the sky come out from the East and swallow four stars in all four directions of the earth. They informed Nimrod of their vision, associating it with Terach's newborn son, predicting that he would one day capture the world. They advised him to bribe Terach and kill the infant while it was still possible.

Nimrod summoned Terach, offering him a houseful of gold and silver in exchange for his son's life. Terach pretended to happily agree and then averted the conversation to other political matters. Once distracted, Terach asked Nimrod for advice regarding a business proposition offered to him; to exchange his prize horse for a houseful of barley. Nimrod respond that it was foolish to exchange a valuable object for barley and additionally if he no longer had the horse, then to whom would he feed the barley to. Terach pointed that this was equivalent to selling his precious son for gold and additionally what good was gold if he had no son to bequeath it to. Nimrod became enraged and sentenced him to death. Seeing he had no choice, Terach begged for forgiveness saying his comment was done in humor and surely he was willing to kill his son but requested three days during which he could appease his wife and get a mutual agreement.

Nimrod granted the allotted time but on the third day sent messengers to Terach with an ultimatum of either handing over the child or having his entire family incinerated. By divine providence a maidservant of his had given birth on the same exact night that Avraham had been born. Terach took this slave child and handed him to Nimrod, who proceed to kill the child and pay Terach as he had previously agreed.

[edit] Discovering Hashem

Following his near escape from death, Avraham was hidden in a cave for the first three years of his life. At age three he emerged from the cave for the first time. Upon seeing the sun, Avraham assumed it was the creator of the world, and began praying to it. At night the sun set and the moon ruled the sky, surrounded by hosts of stars. Avraham took this as a sign of its supremacy over the sun and that night he prayed to the moon. When the sun rose once again in the morning and the moon disappeared, Avrahma concluded that neither ruled but must have a common master that controlled them both.

[edit] Shem and Ever

After Nimrod had forgotten the event and the danger had passed, Avraham emerged from hiding. Not wishing to be in the vicinity of his father who was saturated in idolatry, Avraham went to study in the academy of Shem and Ever, the remaining enclave of the Side of Holiness. There he remained for many years, becoming very wise.

[edit] Proselytization

Avraham would travel from city to city and preach his faith, trying to convince everyone of the futility of idolatry. One technique Avraham used was to tie two idols and drag them through the city streets in a degrading manor, announcing that he had futile gods for sale, who could neither see, hear, talk or move.

[edit] Furnace of Ur

[edit] Idolatry Shop

Terach ran an idolatry shop. Once he had to travel and left his son Avraham to manage the store. Avraham would mock all the people who came to buy idols proving they were useless and causing the customers not to buy them.

[edit] War of the Four Kings

Before setting out with his followers to battle the Four Kings, Avraham encouraged his students to do Teshuva.[1]

[edit] Ashel

Avraham used his wealth to build large guest halls at many busy intersections throughout Eretz Yisroel. There his staff would provide free food and drinks to all passerbys, when they were ready to leave they would be escorted a little for the start of their journey. All the halls as well his personal tent contained entrances on all four sides to make them easily accessible to all visitors.

Ashel is an acronym for Achelah - eating, Shtiya - drinking and Leviyah - escorting. Through the eating Avraham was working on rectifying the sin of Adom, who are from the tree of knowledge. Serving drinks was done to help rectify the sin of Noach who drank from the wine. Escorting the guests was done to help rectify the sin of Sidom who shunned kindness.

[edit] Gifts to Sons of Concubines

Avraham sent the sons of his concubines away to the East, teaching them the mysteries of the 'Lower Crowns' (Side of Impurity). It was from these traditions that the people of the East later derived all their wisdom.[2]

[edit] Sefer Yetzirah

Avraham Avinu was a master of the Kabbalah and knew how to channel all the energies of creation through the twenty two letters of the Aleph Beit. He would use these spiritual meditations to create Golam beings. His teachings were handed down generation through generation to the elite schools of Kabblah and were eventually formed into the final edition of the Sefer Yetzirah by Rabbi Akiva.

[edit] Kever Avraham Avinu

Avraham Avinu is buried in Chevron in the Me'arot Hamachpela.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Likutay Moharan I, Torah 11
  2. ^ Zohar Part 1, Page 223A
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