If we had a Walk of Fame of our nation, there is no doubt that Avraham Avinu would have been the first star there. He is the most influential of all, to this very day. He started our culture. This week’s Portion offers a few explanations to the choosing of Avraham. Here is one of them:
After the people of the Tower of Babel tried to erect a strong, stable tower, that would make their names great forever, comes Avraham. He puts up a simple, temporary tent, but one which was open in all four directions, in order to receive guests. In the Portion he really makes an effort to merit taking care of other people’s needs. He shows us that the most important thing is not to build an impressive house. The most important thing is the contents within the house. Welcoming guests, Chessed (acts of kindness), our attitude towards other people – this becomes an “audition”, the leading test throughout the Book of Bereshit. Later on, Rivka Imenu (our foremother) will be chosen for this role just because of her attitude towards a man who wanted to drink near the well.
This is how Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz explains this good news: “Avraham Avinu is a harbinger of a revolution: he is the first man in the universe in whose eyes all the other people are important.”