18 October 2018

Lech Lecha - "Go for Yourself"

10 Marcheshvan 5779
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Lech Lecha

"And Hashem said to Avram: 'Lech-lecha from your land, from your birthplace and from your father's house towards the land that I will show you.'" (Bereishit 12:1)

Notice that the command to leave occurs in three stages, each one more difficult than the one before: 1) your country; 2) your city and state; 3) the house on the street where you grew up. Each step tugs a little harder on your heart as you anticipate the leave-taking, also knowing that it is good-bye forever - only looking forward into the future, never looking back to the past. 

This is how it was for me and no doubt this is how it is was for Avraham Avinu and Sara Imeinu. But, there is a comforting promise hidden in the first two words - lech lecha. It can be read as go for yourself. It can be understood as go for your own good, for your ultimate good. There is no place more nourishing (Land of milk...) or sweeter for the soul (and honey); no place better suited for you to accomplish your mission in life than Eretz Yisrael. Lech lecha - do it, says Hashem. But don't do it for Me. Do it for yourself.  Even if it might not always feel like it, it's the best thing - the most important thing - you could ever do.

Ever think what might have happened with Avram and Sarai had they remained behind in Ur Kasdim?


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