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Lech Lecha 5761
November 05 - 11, 2000 - by Reb Yosef

What Made Abraham So Great?

There are many stories about Avraham Avinu (Our Father Abraham) that show that he was very great.  One of those stories can be found in this week's Parashah.  For a time, Avraham and his nephew Lot traveled together.  After having visited Mitzrayim (Egypt), they came to Canaan with great wealth.  Because they both had so much, there were some troubles. 

In Chapter 13 of Bereshit (Genesis), it says: 

6. And the land could not support them dwelling together for their possessions were abundant and they were unable to dwell together:

7. And there was quarreling between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock -- and the Canaanite and the Perizzite were then dwelling in the land:

8. So Abram said to Lot - "Please let there be no strife between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are kinsmen:

9. Is not all the land before you? Please separate from me - If you go left then I will go right, and if you go right then I will go left.":

We see here that Avraham Avinu was more concerned with creating peace between his people and Lot's people; so much so that he allowed Lot the first choice of where to go, as we see in verse 9, where Avraham says:

"If you go left then I will go right, and if you go right then I will go left."

Avraham didn't tell Lot which way to go.  He merely told him to choose.  Rabbi Aharon Kotler said:  

The Torah loves peace and Abraham exemplified peace, but any person who seeks peace in opposition to the wisdom of the Torah courts disaster.  Abraham bowed to God's wisdom when he said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between me and you . . . separate from me."


Translations in Torah Portions of the week are partially taken from the ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash and from Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch Chumash

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