Lech Lecha and the Chosen People

Although the matter is still in dispute, most authorities these days  agree that Ur Chasdim was in southern Turkey and that Haran was in northern Syria or thereabouts, not in lower Iraq. 

 

It was Terach who arranged for his extended family to go to Canaan , presumably because he  had heard that the one God was worshipped there , rather than idols as in Ur Chasdim.  Shlomo Riskin has drawn attention to the similarity of words and phrases used to record the departures of both Terach and  Avram  , the former from Ur and the latter from Haran. It is thereby  suggested that Avram completed the journey which his father had  initiated but  had not completed.

 

The covenant between Hashem and Abraham marked the beginning of the saga of the chosen people. The concept of being chosen, even though the purpose of the choice was fulfillment of a mission, and not because of intrinsic merit, has been and is regarded by many as arrogance. The writer Avi Beker regards the reaction to the supposed arrogance as a major component of antisemitism.

 

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