This week's Parsha, Parshat Lech Lecha, begins with the relationship between Lot and Avraham. Lot was Avraham’s nephew and brother-in-law. However, despite being family, their relationship was not free of conflict.
One of the biggest disputes between the two was a shepherding disagreement which occurred while Lot and Avraham were traveling in Israel. Lot thought that since Israel was their land, promised to them by Hashem, the cattle should be able to graze wherever they wanted. However, Avraham disagreed, claiming the land was not currently theirs and letting the animals graze freely would be stealing, therefore they needed to be muzzled. The brother-in-laws never resolved this conflict—they agreed to disagree. With this, they split ways, and Lot settled in Sedom.
Eventually, a war broke out in Sedom. A refugee named Og, who escaped the war, found Avraham to tell him that the King of Sedom wanted his help in fighting the war, and to tell him that Lot was taken hostage. Avraham agreed to mobilize his army and help them with the war.
Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky comments that you would think Aavraham would go into the war against Nimrod and the idols because those things go against his morals and beliefs, so he would want them destroyed. However, Avraham’s only motivation to join this war was because “וישמע אברהם שישבע אחיו” - “Avraham heard his brother was captured”.
Especially today with the current war in Israel, this is very relevant. Israel could completely wipe out Gaza if they wanted to, and it would be much more time-efficient. However, Israel is sending soldiers into Gaza on foot—an execution much more dangerous for them—for the sole reason that there are still many hostages being held in Gaza. Since the IDF’s main objective is to get the hostages, their “brothers”, home safely, this is their only logical plan of action. After all, the Israeli army is called the IDF - Israeli DEFENSE Force. Their whole purpose is to defend their brothers and sisters, and the ideology behind this stems from Avraham’s actions in Parshat Lech Lecha.
By: Lily Abrahams (11th) & Hannah Rothman (11th)