Israel Forever

For the week ending 31 October 2009 / 12 Heshvan 5770

A Double Significance

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

"He built there an altar to G-d and invoked G-d by Name." (Bereishet 12:8)

In the description found in this week's Torah portion of the entry of Avraham into Eretz Yisrael, we find a double significance in the action of our Patriarch.

Rashi, based on the translation of Onkelos, defines his action as prayer. He explains that Avraham prayed at the site where a great sin would someday be committed by one of his descendants in the hope that his prayer would spare the nation from catastrophe.

In his commentary, Ramban interprets Avraham's action as preaching to people in order to attract converts to monotheism.

How great is the significance of Avraham's prayer and preaching for our own generation! The merits of our forefathers have a lasting impact and will hopefully protect our people from any danger despite our faults. Our own great merit of reaching out to Jews to bring them closer to G-d is modeled on the highly successful efforts of Avraham in outreach.

May prayer and outreach combine to secure Israel forever.

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