Introduction to Avraham

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Doniel Karp

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12 Questions

What is Abraham known for in the Jewish tradition?

Teaching about the existence of one unseen God

How did Abraham come to realize there is one controlling God?

By observing the rotation of celestial bodies

According to Maimonides, at what age did Abraham become aware of his Creator?

40 years old

What title do Jewish people use to refer to Abraham?

Avraham Avinu (Abraham our Father)

What did Abraham realize about the sphere's rotation?

One God controls it

In what location did Abraham begin to debate with others about their beliefs?

Ur Kasdim

What crucial details about Abraham's life are filled in by the Midrash and Talmud?

His 40 years of life before recognizing the Creator

How is Abraham described in Jewish tradition?

The founder of monotheism

What was the relationship between Abraham and Isaac?

Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac

What did Abraham realize about God while pondering the sphere's rotation according to Maimonides?

There is one God who controls everything

How did Abraham's understanding of God influence his interactions with the people of Ur Kasdim?

He debated with them and challenged their beliefs

What title do Jewish people often use to refer to Abraham?

"Abraham our Father"

Study Notes

Abraham's Life and Legacy

  • Abraham, the Hebrew, was guided by G-d to the Holy Land, where he was chosen to be the progenitor of the Jewish nation.
  • Together with his wife, Sarah, he taught people about the existence of a single, unseen G-d.
  • His legacy was carried on by his son, Isaac, whom he almost sacrificed at G-d's command.
  • Abraham is referred to by Jewish people as Avraham Avinu, "Abraham our Father."

Early Life and Quest for G-d

  • Abraham was the son of Terach and husband of Sarah.
  • He began to explore and think about the nature of the universe, wondering how the sphere could continue to revolve without a controller.
  • At 40 years old, Abraham realized that there was one G-d who controlled the sphere, created everything, and was the only G-d among all entities.

Confronting Idolatry and Spreading the Word

  • Abraham debated with the inhabitants of Ur Kasdim, telling them they were not following a proper path.
  • He broke their idols and began to teach people to serve only the G-d of the world.
  • When he overcame the idolaters through the strength of his arguments, the king (Nimrod) desired to kill him.
  • Abraham was saved by a miracle and left for Charan, where he began to call out to all people, informing them that there is one G-d in the entire world.

The Divine Call and Journey

  • G-d called Abraham to "go for yourself from your land, from your birthplace and the house of your father, to the land that I will show you."
  • Abraham, Sarah, and nephew Lot arrived in Canaan, but severe hunger forced them to go to Egypt.
  • In Egypt, beautiful Sarah was abducted by King Pharaoh, who was subsequently punished by G-d.
  • After being punished, Pharaoh realized that he was dealing with holy people and sent them off with great riches.

Test your knowledge on the biblical figure Abraham (Avraham), his journey to the Holy Land, his teachings about a single God, and his son Isaac. Learn more about one of the patriarchs in Jewish tradition.

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