If we had a Walk of Fame for our nation, there is no doubt that Avraham Avinu would be the first star on it. He is the most influential of all, to this very day. He started our culture. Last week’s parshah offers a few explanations for why G-d chose Avraham. Here is one of them:
Avraham comes on the scene after the people of the Tower of Babel tried to build a tower that would glorify their names for all time. Instead of a tower, Avraham erects a simple, temporary tent, but one which was open on all four directions in order to receive guests.
Avraham really makes an effort to take care of other people’s needs and shows us thereby that the most important thing is not to build an impressive house. The most important thing is what is built inside the house. Welcoming guests, doing chessed, treating others properly – these are “audition,” the leading tests throughout Sefer Bereshit.
Later on, Rivka Imenu will be chosen for this role precisely because of her attitude towards a man who wanted to drink near a well.
Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz said: “Avraham Avinu was a harbinger of a revolution. He was the first man in the universe in whose eyes all the other people are important.”