ABRAHAM. Yup! We all know him as the patriarch of patriarchs, but what's his story? He seemed to have a pretty good 'in' with the Big Guy, according to Genesis: "This is my covenant with you: you shall be the ancestor of a company of nations. Accordingly, your name shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham....I am establishing my covenant between myself and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant, to be God to you and your descendants. I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now only an immigrant, the whole of the land of Canaan as a possession of all time, and I will be their God." (Gen. 17:4-8) Well, that's quite the gift, especially for a guy who had been wondering with his family for hundreds, even possibly thousands of miles trying to avoid drought and bad-ass plundering tribes also trying to make their way in the desert. The difference between Abraham and his fellow nomads, however, is that Abram (aka Abraham) had a tendency towards monotheism which was not big in those parts or times (roughly 4000 years ago) - but not just any old monotheism. Abram's monotheism is what we'd now call an 'ethical monotheism'1...a bit of an introspective moral philosopher was our Abram, and the Big Daddy of what we now consider three pretty monumental monotheistic religions. Ya know what I'm talking about.
He did have his fun though - cavorting with Hagar...well, as the story goes (in chapter 16 of Genesis anyway), Hagar was Abraham's wife Sarah's Egyptian maid, who was apparently offered - by Sarah - as a concubine and or second wife (depending on your religious perspective) to Abraham, in order that he may propagate the family lineage in order to fulfill the Abrahamic covenant. WOW! Better than night-time soap operas!! Anyway, Abraham's first son Ishmael was born, and is considered to be the father of the Ishmaelites. Sadly, he was eventually cast out into the desert to fend for himself... but that's a whole different story...
Abraham (as this is post-covenant we're talkin' now) then had a son Isaac. Isaac became a pretty big deal himself eventually (but again, a whole different story) and almost didn't become anything as Abraham was prepared to take a sacrificial knife to the poor lad just to prove his love for his God...a very unfair request, I might add, from his new Omniscient Pal (see Genesis 22:1-2). In the end, however, it was only a test, albeit a pretty cruel test, but a test nonetheless. And so Abraham and Isaac's story was able to continue, as does the three very HUGE religions that spawned from this decidedly unique individual and his actions.
So there you have an EXTREMELY abridged synopsis of a pretty monolithic figure in history, and one that I'm sure Time Travelling Jesus would have loved to hang out with - at least for a cup of mead, or fermented goat's milk, or whatever it was that Abraham would have offered him. So stay tuned for the next installment of "Who the Heck is Time Travelling Jesus, and All the Characters in the Song That He Goes To Visit?" as we stop in old London Town and visit Charles Dickens, author and social commentator extraordinaire...
Now, moving onto other, and more current, stories....The Whiskey Jerks have been busy - not so much with time travel, but with playing lots of music, and recording videos! We joined the stage with some great musicians at the Ness Creek Auditions at the Capitol, then we had soooo much fun playing Meacham and met some great folks out there - what a tremendous community, a true hub of the arts! This past Sunday we had the pleasure of recording a video with the second to none flamenco dancer Kari Alba and the amazing flamenco singer Celedonio - what an energizing experience for The Whiskey Jerks! And of course we've got some great shows coming up with CFCR, the Underground Roots series and a sweet house concert - so more fun times are definitely ahead! And we'll be sure to keep you posted.
Have a grand day, week, month...and we'll chat soon!
1. Epstein, Isadore. Judaism: A Historical Presentation. Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd, 1986, p. 12