The beginning of the Torah portion of Lech Lecha abruptly introduces us to Avraham Avinu – then known as Avram – the first patriarch of the Jewish nation.
Without telling us why he should deserve “facetime” with God, we are informed that God instructed him to leave his place of birth and travel to a distant, unnamed place. So why are we not given more information about Avraham?
His ancestor Noach is given a very generous introduction when the Torah begins to talk about him. Why is Avraham denied this privilege?
It is also puzzling that God told him to leave his birthplace. Surely he had already left his birthplace – a place called “Ur Kasdim” – at the end of last week’s parsha! Why would God refer to Haran as Avraham’s birthplace if it wasn’t?
Most of the commentaries ignore these astounding anomalies, preferring to focus on God’s instructions to Avraham rather than the omission of Avraham’s backstory.
But scattered among the numerous commentaries are a few who do address this enigmatic issue, and at the shiur Rabbi Dunner began taking a look at this fascinating usually overlooked topic through the eyes of the Maharal, Ohr Hachaim & Abarbanel.