Avraham was unique!

How is it possible to evoke Avraham Avinu -- our father, Abraham?

Many people may have an image of Abraham -- perhaps as a kindly old man with a flowing white beard, or some other. Such pictures are derived from legends, picture bibles and the like. But to begin to approach the authentic Abraham -- or at least try to get some faint understanding of this totally unique figure in world history -- it is necessary to expose and discard false images, just as Abraham himself smashed the idols and forged ahead on a completely original path.

Abraham was the first human being to take full responsibility for the Earth and indeed for the entire Universe. He said: "It's entirely up to me!" He devoted every fiber of his being to his goal: to bring everyone to know God and live in harmony with His law. Abraham was willing to sacrifice everything for God, even his very son. His reward is that his soul lives on forever in the eternal Jewish People that he founded. His name and teachings have been carried to the entire world through the Christian and Moslem religions, both of which proudly trace themselves to him.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov points out that Abraham drew strength and power from the very fact that he was unique and alone in the world:

The prophet Ezekiel says, "Abraham was one, and he inherited the land" (Ezekiel 33:24). What does Ezekiel mean by stressing that Abraham was one? Abraham based his whole service of God on the fact that he was alone. He looked on himself as the only person in the world who was serving God -- as if everything was up to him -- and he paid no attention whatever to all the other people who were on the wrong track and who were putting obstacles in his way. Abraham paid no attention to his father or any of the other people who tried to prevent him from doing what he knew to be true. He carried on as if he was the only one in the world, as if everything depended on him. That is the meaning off Ezekiel's statement: "Abraham was one."

Rebbe Nachman draws out from this a lesson for everyone:

And so too anyone who wants to serve God can only start if he takes the view that there is no-one else in the world except himself, and everything is up to him. He should not pay attention to anyone trying to put obstacles in his way -- not even his own father and mother, wife and children, nor obstacles from other people who laugh at him, try to persaude him to

give up or otherwise stand in his way. One must pay no attention whatever to them, just like Abraham. "Abraham was one." He looked upon himself as if he was the only one in the world and as if everything depended on him.

(Likutey Moharan II, beginning)



Back to "The Mountain: Abraham" / Course Guide