This week we read in the parsha about the four kings of Mesopotamia: Amraphel and co.,
who make war with the five kings of Sodom. They capture the rulers of Sodom, including
Lot, causing Avraham together with “the students born in his house” to go out to war to save
them and win.
In the middle of the story appears a seemingly superfluous technicality. The Torah tells us
how Avram found out about the kidnapping of his nephew Lot. This would seem unimportant,
what do we care if he read it in a newspaper or heard on the radio? Still the Torah tells us
נֵ֜י מַמְרֵ֣א הָֽאֱמרִֹ֗י אֲחִ֤י אֶשְׁכּלֹ֙ וַֽאֲחִ֣י עָנֵ֔ר וְהֵ֖ם בַּֽעֲלֵ֥י בְרִית D וַיָּבאֹ֙ הַפָּלִ֔יט וַיַּגֵּ֖ד לְאַבְרָ֣ם הָֽעִבְרִ֑י וְהוּא֩ שׁכֵֹ֨ן בְּאֵֽ
A fugitive brought the news to Abram the Hebrew, who was dwelling at the terebinths
of Mamre the Amorite, kinsman of Eshkol and Aner, these being Abram’s allies
This is the first time Avram is called HaIvri, the Hebrew.