In this week’s Torah Portion these are the following topics: Abram (Abraham)travels from Charan to Canaan  ,famine in Canaan, travels to Egypt, Pharaoh takes Sarai to his palace, Lot and Abram separate, Promise of Israel, Hebron, Lot’s taken prisoner, battle is weiged, the future of the Jewish people, Ishmael, name change of Abram to Abraham, eternal covenant (circumcision) and name change of sarai to sarah.


When God inserts his name into Abram it will be called Avraham but this name change will happen towards the end of this Torah portion. Abram leaves Charan his birthplace with a promise from God that he will be blessed into a great nation. He brings with him his wife(Sari), nephew (Lot), belongings and followers. Upon reaching Canaan another promise was made to our forefather that this land would be given to us in the future.

Abram traveled south to Egypt after a famine struck Canaan. Abram told Sari that the Egyptians would probably find her most attractive at the boarder control and take her to their ruler Pharoh as a wife. Abram knew that this land was devoid of God and wouldn’t pay mind to the importance of husband and wife. The Egyptians would kill him if he was her husband and take her as a prize to Pharoh. He put her in a closet and hoped that they wouldn’t bother with it. Sari was to be called his sister instead of his wife. Pharaoh’s officers found Sari to be most pleasing upon entry to the land that she was in fact brought immediately to the palace. Pharaoh’s palace was than seized with a severe plague. After Pharaoh realized the cause of the plague he made sure to quickly send them from the country.

Abram and Lot traveled together with their cattle and all of their belongings upon leaving Egypt. The herdsmen of Abram and Lot quarreled to the extent that Abram requested that they separate. Abram chose to return to Canaan and Lot chose to live in Sodom. Sodom was located on the southern part of the Dead Sea. The herdsmen of Abram would place muzzels on their animals for they were cautious not to allow any animals to graze and steal from people. Lot’s herdsmen were not cautious and didn’t really care where their flocks grazed.

God said to Abram to look into all directions and know that this land of canaan will be given to you and your off springs forever. An alter to God is dedicated by  Abram in  Hebron and builds

Lot who dwelled in Sodom is taken prisoner by the five kings due to the war that was waged. The kings of Sodom made a treaty to serve Chedorlaomer. The five kings who waged war was Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar and Tidal king of Goyim. The kings of Sodom: Gomorrah, Admah, Bela( Tzoar- the place that Lot lived) and Tzevoyim. When Abram heard that Lot was taken captive he called his 318 soldiers and ran after the invaders. Abram waged a successful battle at night and divided his forces to save Lot. The king of Sodom said to Abram after the battle was fought that he wanted to keep all of the wealth and in exchange would give Abram all of his people. Abram said no deal I didn’t fight this war to obtain monetary value as God is my witness “not a thread” do I want. But, the others that joined me in this battle (Aner, Ehkol and Mamre) to them they will take their share.

God reminds Abram that he will become a great nation. Abram asks for a sign. He asked how will he become a great nation if he is childless. It must be from his great servant Eliezer that the nation will come from. God reassured Abram that it will be from his own flesh that will make these offsprings. God explains that his descendants will be foreigners for 400 years in a land that is not theirs. They will be slaves (story of Passover) man retribution will be on those that enslaved them. They will leave with great wealth and will return to canaan. The land will stretch from the Egyptian river to the Euphrates. This property will encompass the lands of the Kenites, Kadmonites, Kenizites, Perizites, Hitties, Amorites, Rephaim, Yebusites and Girgashites.

Sarai gave Abram her Egyptian slave named Hagar as a wife. When Abram was 86 years old he called the son Ishmael.

When Abram was 99 years and Sarai 90 years both of their names were changed. God blessed them in the changing of their names. People’s names are very significant in Judaism. Names have been known to change people’s mazel (Luck)Read more about Jewish Names. God blessed him with two things: That he will be the father of many nations and have kings as his descendants. God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah. She will be the mother of many nations and kings will be her descendants. God said this time next year she will have a son and you will name him Isaac.  You must name him Isaac.  God blessed Ishmael by making him into a great nation and fruitful and know that my  eternal covenant I will always keep with Isaac (sarah’s son).
Your offsprings must keep my covenant of circumcision (flesh of foreskin) Read about Bris Milah. | World View on a Bris | Story of a Bris Every male at eight days old from your entire household. (Even slaves from other nationalities.) Abraham took every male eight days old and above in his household and gave them a circumcision.

Have a Sweet Shabbos

-Beth Shifra Crew

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