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    Abraham & the king’s ransom – Lech L’cha

    Abraham rescuing Lot, from the 1728 Figures de la Bible

    The 14th chapter of B’reshit tells of Abraham becoming involved in a war between two groups of kings of the nations around him.

    The immediate purpose of Abraham’s involvement was to rescue Lot, who had been captured by one of the warring parties.

    He also assisted the campaign of the king of Sodom, who wanted to reward him for his help.

    The king would have given him anything, but Abraham refused even “a thread or a shoelace” (Gen. 14:23). All that he would allow the king to give was “that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men that went with me” (Gen. 14:24).

    From this statement, says the Chafetz Chayyim, we learn a lesson for life. We can be machmir for ourselves, particular in the standards we adopt personally, but we have no right to control the feelings and attitudes of others.

    We can say, “The fact that I personally do or do not do this or that is just because it’s me, but others have to make up their own minds and it is no reflection on them if they do not do exactly what I do”.

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