If you don’t change direction, you may end up where you’re heading.

Chinese Proverb (attributed to Laozi – probably falsely IMHO)

The Question Part:

Our sages tell us that when it says in Parshas Bereishis אלא תולדות שמים וארץ בהבראם – it means that the heavens and earth were created “for Avraham”.

But you don’t have to resort to Talmudic homily to appreciate this, you just have to notice the narrative shift that occurs in Chumash, from a broad tale about the development of the humankind – to an ultra-specific story about one man and his family.

The Torah tells us that Avraham was 75 years old when he was told by G-d to leave his native land to “the land that I shall show you”. Yet, our Sages tell us (based on a deep analysis of the Chumash) that, at the age of three (see about page), Avraham came to the realization that there was one G-d. By the time he as 75 he had already “invented ethical monotheism” and “converted” many people to his beliefs. Why the 72-year delay? (I could add a bunch of observations and Midrashim here to make this question seem better, but I’m not going to.) What was going on for those 72 years and why is G-d asking this elderly man to go on this mysterious journey with without telling him where the destination? (To be fair, aging seemed to work a little differently back then.)

I may write an answer later. I may not. Answers, comments, sources etc. in the comments section below.

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