A Story of Miraculous Hostage Rescue
When our patriarch Abraham [Avram] was forced to leave the land of Canaan due to a famine (Genesis 12: 10), he sought refuge in Egypt. Despite his efforts to protect his wife, Sarah [Sarai] was abducted by the Pharaoh who ruled at that time. Miraculously, God sent a plague upon the house of Pharoah and Sarah was immediately released unharmed.
This miracle, related in this week’s Torah portion, Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1–17:27), is the same miracle we fervently pray for today. The hostages kidnapped by Hamas should be freed immediately and unharmed.
After the event with Sarah, the Torah described a war in which another relative of Avraham (Lot) was taken hostage (Genesis 14:14). In this situation, Avraham prepared to fight and launched a rescue mission. After successfully rescuing Lot, Melchizedek king of Salem [Jerusalem] greeted Abraham and acknowledged another miracle, proclaiming “Blessed is the God of Abram…Who has delivered your foes into your hand” (Genesis 14:20).
These stories teach the importance of self-defense, rescuing hostages, and standing up to evil. Just like Abraham, we must be prepared to fight but constantly request God’s miraculous assistance. This message is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.
Abraham’s unwavering faith in God supported him in his trials and tribulations, as God said, “Fear not Abraham I am a shield (מגן-magen) for you” (Genesis 15:1). May our faith in God once again come to our rescue and be a shield of protection and salvation for Israel and the entire Jewish people.
Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz
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