May 29, 2017 ~ Shabbat NASO. Maqam SABA.

Shabbat Lekh Lekha

Abram the Hebrew

ויגד לאברם העברי - When described by outsiders, Abram is referred to as "the Hebrew" (Genesis 14:13). Besides for this being a reference to his nomadic lifestyle or ancestry (Eber son of Shem), there is an added meaning to "Abram Ha-Ibri," which literally translates as "Abram, the one who stands on the other side." We see many examples of how Abram's behavior was different from the norm. When Abram receives word that Lot was held captive, he immediately mobilizes to rescue him. This is remarkable, because he did this for an estranged nephew to whom he had a poor relationship with. Shortly after this, we read that Abram turns down significant wealth from the King of Sodom, because Abram did not want him or anyone else to take credit for his prosperity. From these stories and more, we see that our patriarch was a true "Hebrew;" proudly behaving in ways that were above and beyond any "normal person" (Beth Torah, 11/8/16).