Avraham Avinu was the forefather of the Nation of Yisroel and one of the three Avos. Saved from near execution by Nimrod as an infant, he spent his early childhood hiding in a cave. At age three Avraham started to recognize G-D on his own account, reaching full comprehension by the time he was forty.
Avram was born to Terach the son of Nachor and Amtelah the daughter of Karneba. Terach was a leading minister for Nimrod who ruled the world and had managed to turn all mankind to the worship of idolatry. On the night of Avraham's birth, Terach made a celebration feast that was attended by many of Nimrod's advisers and astrologers. As they left they viewed in the sky a large star come out from the East and swallow four stars from all four directions of the earth. They came to Nimrod and informed him of their vision, saying that it applied to Terach's newborn son, predicting that he would one day capture the world. They advised him to bribe Terach and kill the infant while it was still possible.
Nimrod summoned Terach offering him a houseful of gold and silver in exchange for his son's life. Terach pretended to happily agreed and then averted the conversation to other political matters. Once distracted, Terach asked Nimrod for advice regarding a business proposition given to him to exchange his prize horse for a houseful of barley. Nimrod respond that it was quite foolish to exchange a valuable object for barley and additionally if he no longer had the horse, then to whom would he feed the barley to. When Terach pointing this was equivalent to selling his precious son for gold and additionally what good was the gold if he had no son to bequeath it to, Nimrod became enraged and sentenced him to death. Seeing he had no choice Terach begged for forgiveness saying his comment was done in humor and surely he was willing to kill his son but he requested three days during which he could appease his wife and get a mutual agreement.
Nimrod granted the allotted time but on the third day sent messengers to Terach with an ultimatum of either handing over the child or having his entire family incinerated. A maidservant of his happened to have given birth on the same exact night that Avraham had been born. Terach took this slave child and handed him to Nimrod who proceed to kill the child and then pay him as he had previously agreed.
Following his near escape from death, Avraham was hidden in a cave for the first three years of his life. At age three he emerged from the cave for the first time in his life. Upon seeing the sun, Avraham assumed that to be the creator of the world, and began praying to it. At night the sun set and the moon ruled the sky, surrounded by hosts of stars. Avraham took this as a sign of its supremacy over the sun and that night he prayed to the moon. When the sun once again rose in the morning and the moon disappeared, Avrahma concluded that neither ruled but must have a common master that controlled them both.
Avraham used his wealth to build large guest halls at many busy intersections throughout Eretz Yisroel. There his staff would provide free food and drinks to all passerbyes, when they were ready to leave they would be escorted a little for the start of their journey. All the halls as well his personal tent contained entrances on all four sides to make them easily accessible to all visitors.
Ashel is an acronym for Achelah - eating, Shtiya - drinking and Leviyah - escorting. Through the eating Avraham was working on rectifying the sin of Adom, who are from the tree of knowledge. Serving drinks was done to help rectify the sin of Noach who drank from the wine. Escorting the guests was done to help rectify the sin of Sidom who shunned kindness.