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Q&A Abir Qesheth - Question #2

Question: If Avraham the son of Terah learned how to fight from his father Terah how can one claim that Abir is a Jewish martial art?

Answer: First, you must go to our article which details why Abir shouldn't be defined by the western concept of a “martial art.” (See the article HERE) Second, according to our tradition there are a number of practices/traditions that our ancestors learned from our ancestor Avraham Avinu which includes how one prepares for combat or conflict. There are a number of Jewish texts, like Me'am Loez and Sefer HaYashar which claim that Avraham, prior to the giving of the Torah to his descendants, had a tradition of organizing his servants for combat as described in the Torah. 

According to our tradition, Avraham Avinu learned general concepts and fighting techniques from his father Terah who was a military leader in Ur Chasdim. (A region in Mesopotamia) According to traditional Assyrian and Babylonian sources, ~3,000 years ago young men in the region often learned basic combat traditions from their fathers with only the career soldiers taking on advanced training. Further, Mesopotamia was a crossroads between the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Thus, there are some areas of military tradition that overlaps these areas.


When Avraham received the Torah of his time from Hashem he introduced that Torah to every area of his life, including how he conducted himself during physical conflict. Thus, this is what he transmitted to his descendants and was just one aspect of the way they conducted themselves going forward.

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