At the beginning of this week’s parsha Avraham, who we were introduced to at the end of last week’s parsha, is commanded by GOD to journey from his homeland of Haran to “ The land that I shall show you,” (Bereisheit 12:1) which ends up being Eretz Yisrael (at that time it was called Eretz Canaan). On this journey he is accompanied by both his wife Sarah and nephew Lot.
While it is more obvious why Sarah would follow her husband on his journey to an unknown land it is interesting that Avraham’s nephew Lot comes along as well.
Based on the good life the rest of Avraham’s family seems to have in Haran (from Midrashim and later in parshat Chayei Sarah when we meet his brother Nachor’s descendants like Rivka) it seems that Lot could have had a pretty good life there. However, Lot decided to go along with Avraham.
According to the Rambanan or Nachmanides (as I saw quoted by Rav Baruch Simon in his work Imri Baruch on Bereisheit), Lot is even praised for escorting Avraham on his journey and this is why he merits being saved by Avraham later in the parsha when he is kidnapped during the war between the 4 and 5 kings of the lands surrounding Eretz Yisrael.
Additionally, Yeshiva University Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Baruch Simon Shlitta in his work Imri Baruch, points out that another reason why Avraham risked his life to save his nephew was because he had gratitude, in Hebrew, hakarat hatov for when Lot had previously escorted him into the land of Eretz Yisrael.
From Rav Simon’s insight I feel we can all learn an important lesson in being grateful for what others do for us.
Often in life we do not have gratitude for the people around us who give so much to us.
Whether it be the parents who pay to send their children to Jewish schools, Yeshivot and seminaries in Israel, college and consistently give the world to their children in other ways, to the maintenance workers who set up a room so we can have a meeting their and clean it to give us a clean facility we should try and take the lesson of Avraham to heart and give thanks to those around us.
May we also use this lesson to thank HASHEM for all the people he lets us interact with as well as the many amazing gifts HE gives us every day.
May Moschiach come soon!
Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, Gut Shabbes