Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
“3,757 years ago, an old man and an old woman set out from Turkey to the land of Canaan,” writes Rav Chaim Navon. “This does not sound like a big deal and, in fact, the people of that time did not think it was a big deal either. The headlines in those days, as usual, were full of kings and their wars, ministers and their intrigues, and caprices of the wealthy. Avram so-and-so, the childless old man, was promised by God that ‘all the families of the earth will be blessed through you’ and that ‘you will be the father of a multitude of nations.’ If someone actually heard these
promises, he would certainly have scorned and made fun of them. And not only then. Even a thousand or two thousand years later, a non-Jew who encountered, by chance, the Torah of the Jews, and found these promises written in it, he too would have been filled with ridicule. After all, no one had yet heard about that old man, about the tiny people who were his descendants, and about their unusual faith.
But today, no one remembers those kings or their ministers or the billionaires of those times who lived in the Middle East, but everyone remembers that old man. Close to four billion men and women in the world believe in the path of Avraham avinu, and see themselves as his followers. From time to time, we ask ourselves, ‘When will the prophecies and the promises of the Bible come to pass?’ But these prophecies have already come to pass: Avraham avinu became the father of a multitude of nations and all the families of the earth have been blessed through him.”