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Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Animated Avraham stars in hasidic-produced film
By Sara Trappler Spielman

One of the most ancient tales from the Torah has been created in the newest style of computer-generated animation, forming a three-dimensional world of characters and cities. It’s the combination of old text with modern animation that’s turning heads. “Young Avraham: From the Ancient Stories of the Israelites” is a high quality film that relates the story of Abraham and his quest to prove that G-d is not made of stone and can be discovered through the conscious mind. The film spans the first 75 years of Abraham’s life, revealing a little known story from Medrashic texts.
Rabbis Yisroel Bernath and Zvi Hershcovich, two Chabad shluchim living in Montreal, who also happen to be screenwriters and Torah study partners, began extensive research to set up the plot of the movie based on a timeline, characters and tales found in the Medrash. “We felt we needed some creative liberty,” said Bernath, leader of the campus Chabad at NDG Concordia University, explains that the script is “A hundred percent true to the spirit of the text.”
The film takes place in the ancient region of Mesopotamia and begins with King Nimrod commanding Terach to release his newborn son, Abraham, because stargazers saw that the boy would rebel in the future against the king. We see Abraham grow from baby to a young boy hiding in a cave to the great leader he became. A touching scene in the film is when Abraham experiences an epiphany that ultimately changes the course of the world. When he leaves the cave and meets Utz – a fictional character based on a name found in the Torah who helps blend the story together – Abraham questions how a stone can be a great god if he can break it.
When Abraham meditates on nature and realizes that the sun and moon must have something greater than them – a Creator of all life - he puts a piece of cloth on his head. “This is the idea of a yarmulke – a reminder that there is something greater than us,” Rabbi Bernath said. “The idea of love and appreciation of a higher power.”


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