Terach

As Abraham’s father repairs an idol that his son damaged, he tells it of Abraham’s rejection of their fathers’ gods and embrace of a single nameless god.
Here: if I hammer this thin brass nail down through your hair, along the fine wood’s grain, your head should stay on your shoulders for at least a while more.

An aged man sits alone, talking to an old friend. His children are gone, having traveled to a new world, changed their names, and developed new ways that the father cannot understand. It’s an old story that we’ve heard before, though usually set in much more recent centuries, with travels over greater distances, though they may not have taken as long.

Most of the features of this story come from older legends. The tale of Abram and the idols is well known. There are tales that Terah’s home was destroyed by fire, and contrasting stories about the relationships of the people within his family. Ur was renowned as a city of astronomers.The names of the idols came from the Apocalypse of Abraham, as quoted in James Kugel’s Traditions of the Bible.

I narrowly avoided an error in the storytelling. As written in most English translations, the city to which Terah traveled, as well as that of his father and son, were all “Haran.” Fortunately, I double-checked it against the Hebrew, realized that the city was spelled with the letter “khet” rather than the letter “hey,” and rewrote that bit.

Questions

What would you hold onto from your childhood to bring you comfort as you age: an object? a person? an idea? If nothing of comfort remains from your childhood, where do you find comfort now?

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