Ten generations have passed since the time of Noach. Man has descended to lower spiritual depths. In the year 1948 after the Creation, Avram is born. Through observing the world, Avram comes to the inescapable Truth of HaShem`s existence, and thus merits that HaShem reveals Himself to him. At the beginning of this week`s Parashah, HaShem tells Avram to leave his land, his relatives and his father`s house and travel to an unknown land where HaShem will make him into a great nation. Avram leaves, taking with him his wife Sarahy, his nephew Lot, their servants, and those who he converted to faith in HaShem.
When they reach the land of Canaan, HaShem appears to Avram and tells him that this is the land that He will give to his descendants. A famine ensues and Avram is forced to relocate to Egypt to find food. Realising that his wife`s beauty would cause his death at the hand of the Egyptians, Avram tells her to say that she is his sister. Sarahy is taken to the Pharaoh, but HaShem afflicts the Pharaoh and his court with severe plagues and she is released unmolested.
Avram returns to Erets Yisrael (Canaan) with much wealth given to him by the Egyptians. After a quarrel over grazing rights breaks out between their shepherds, Lot decides to part ways with his uncle Avram. Lot chooses to live in the rich but corrupt city of Sedom in the fertile plain of the Jordan. A war breaks out between the kings of the region, and Sedom is defeated. Lot is taken captive. Together with a handful of his converts, Avram rescues Lot, miraculously overpowering vastly superior forces, but demurs from accepting any of the spoils of the battle. In a prophetic covenant, HaShem reveals to Avram that his offspring will be exiled to a strange land where they will be oppressed for 400 years, after which they will emerge with great wealth and return to Erets Yisrael, their irrevocable inheritance.
Sarahy is barren and gives Hagar, her Egyptian hand-maiden, to Avram in the hope that she will provide them with a child. Hagar becomes arrogant when she discovers that she is pregnant. Sarahy deals harshly with her, and Hagar flees. On the instruction of an angel Hagar returns to Avram and gives birth to Yishmael. The Parashah concludes with HaShem commanding Avram to circumcise himself and his offspring throughout the generations as a covenant between HaShem and his seed. HaShem changes Avram`s name to Avraham, and Sarah`s name to Sarah. HaShem promises Avraham a son, Yitschak, despite Avraham being ninety-nine years old and Sarah ninety. On that day, Avraham circumcises himself, Yishmael and all his household.