Photo of Rabbi Ettedgui

Parashat Lech Lecha - 5778

Dear friends,

The first two portions in the Book of Genesis described the physical formation of the world, the first humans, as represented by Adam and Eve, and their family. Because of all of the corruption and violence, that world was destroyed and only Noah and his descendants survived the flood. However, they too did not meet the goals that G-d had set for humanity.

In this week's portion, Lech Lecha, we are introduced to Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, who is chosen by G-d to bring G-d's teachings to the world. G-d promises him many blessings and that he will be a blessing to the world. In this portion and the next few portions, we read of the many trials that Abraham endured affirming his total devotion to G-d. From here on, the Bible will deal with Abraham's descendants, the Children of Israel. Through the rest of the Book of Genesis and the four Books that follow, Israel is at the center of the Torah that has been given to Israel and the world.

An important message for us is found in two of the first words of this Parasha. Abraham is told, "Lech Lecha" - "go forth":

"Now the L-rd said unto Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your extended family, and even from your father's home, to a land which I will show you." (Genesis 12:1)

'Lech' - 'Go' - is a command for all of us. We can never say, "I have reached my potential and can now settle down and relax." Or, "I have done enough for everyone, I'm done." We can only enjoy life if we are in a constant state of moving, from one challenge to another, seeking spiritual growth through our 'Maasim Tovim', good deeds.

Shabbat Shalom,

Avram