This week’s parsha, Lech Lecha, states that Hashem is “the shield of Avraham.” In the first paragraph of the Amida we also have the phrase that Hashem is the “shield of Avraham.” We start the Amida by reciting how Hashem is the God of our forefathers, He is good to us, remembers the good that our ancestors did, and how He will redeem us with love. Why does it say the “shield of Avraham” and not of any of our other Jewish role models?
This week’s haftarah is from Isaiah, which says that the Jews were chosen because they are from Avraham, who loved Him. I believe that this is the answer to why it says that God is the shield of Avraham as opposed to anyone else. We are all the children of Avraham, and if we follow Avraham’s ways we will be shielded as well.
What did Abraham do to gain this love? Avraham was the first person to see Hashem, and despite all the tests he went through, he loved Hashem. Usually Hashem has to take the first step, but here Avraham did. Shlomo Hamelech writes in Shir Hashirim, “Ani ledodi vedodi li” (I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me). Hashem is our beloved, and throughout history we have taken Him for granted many times. However, Avraham was for Hashem even in the difficult times. Avraham didn’t ask God why he was put through events in his life. He just followed and knew that since He loved God, all things that may have seemed bad was God protecting Him and was really something good. We need to realize that the love we have for Hashem is a guarantee of safety and that when events in our life seem bad, they are a shield protection sent by Hashem.
By Shira Sedek