Parshat Lech Lecha
In response to the call of God, Abraham and Sarah begin their journey to a new land and a new kind of faith, that will become the context of the entire Jewish drama thereafter. There are initial setbacks. There is a famine and they have to leave. There is a quarrel between Abraham and his nephew Lot, and they part. Lot is captured in a local war, and Abraham has to fight a battle to free him. God makes a covenant with Abraham, who remains childless. He has a son by Sarah’s handmaid Hagar, but God tells him this is not the heir to the covenant. The sign of the covenant is circumcision.