David Hahn - Dvar Torah

My parashah tells the stories of God’s calling of Abram (who would become later Abraham), Abram’s passing off his wife Sarai as his sister, Abram’s dividing the land with his nephew Lot, the war between the four kings, the covenant between the pieces, Sarai’s tensions with her maid Hagar and Hagar’s son Ishmael. The parashah also describes the covenant between G-d and Abraham where G-d prescribes the act of circumcision of Abraham himself, and from that time on all the Jewish young boys do it at eight days after birth.

When God speaks to Avram God says, “I am El Shaddai, walk along before me and be pue of heart.” Actually, God has many names in the bible. This depends on who is referring to him. Therefore he is called differently, e.g. El Shaddai, G-d, Ha-chem, Elohai, Adonai , Lord or Father.

As I thought about God’s names, I started thinking about where name comes from.

The biblical King David of Israel was known for his diverse skills as both a warrior and a writer of psalms. In his 40 years as ruler, between approximately 1010 and 970 B.C.E, he united the people of Israel, led them to victory in battle, conquered land and paved the way for his son, Solomon, to build the Holy Temple.

David was the eighth and youngest son of Jesse from the kingly tribe of Judah. He was also a direct descendent of Ruth the Moabite. David began his life as a shepherd in Bethlehem. One day, the prophet Samuel called him out of the field and anointed him without the knowledge of the current king, Saul.

David is widely known for his success in battle against Goliath. Goliath was a tall, strong, Philistine warrior, who was a famous fighter all around. Although David was much smaller and weaker, he was winning the fight because he was clever, and his cleverness led him to success.

David is a very traditional name, that is being used all over the world. My great-grandfather was a man of faith and was born in Yemen and later made Aliya to Israel. He was also called David and I got my name from him. It is like carrying the tradition forward.

David in the bible and myself are different characters. By the time the David in the bible was old, he was a very successful human being at the end of his lifetime. In contrast to that I have not very much to show because I am much younger.

I think tradition is important. Only if we carry tradition forward it will stay alive. All our traditions, such as circumcision and many holidays, are based on the covenant between Abraham and God and all the other events, more than a thousand years ago.

Even if you presumably appear small and weak, or you feel yourself small and weak, you can do miracles if you know that G-d is on your side you feel brave, courageous, and have trust in yourself such as David did.

Shabbat Shalom

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