Hebraic Studies - Parashat Lech Lecha
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Please Note: On this page I may show the four letter blessed *Memorial Name of the Almighty in Ivrit - - Y-H-V-H, which we usually pronounce as Adonai or HaShem. At all times treat the most blessed Name with sanctity and when we even see the Name, we should say blessed be His Sanctified Name.
*This is My Name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations. Shemot - Exodus 3:15.
On this site I will
mostly use a version based on the
On this site I will mostly use a version based on the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) of the Torah/Tanakh
Although some minor alterations have been made relating to names and attributes having been corrected.
Please Note: Verse numbers may at times vary in non Jewish Bibles.
Parashat Lech Lecha
Bereshit - Genesis chapter 12: verse 1 to chapter 14: verse 24.
With Rabbi Reuven Ben-Avraham.
Nowsaid unto Avram: - Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fathers house, unto the land that I will show thee Bereshit - Genesis 12:1 (JPS version of the Torah).
In our reading above we read about our
Patriarch Avraham Avinu, who at the very beginning of the portion
And therefore the Torah portion is called
Elohim commands Avram to leave his birthplace and go to a new land that Elohim will show him. In the first three verses of this portion, (Bereshit 12:1-3) the word bracha of course, means blessing, appears five times and this corresponds to the five appearances of the word Or, meaning light, in Bereshit 1:1-5.
- And Elohim said: Let there be light. And there was light Bereshit - Genesis 1:3 (JPS).
Just as Elohim uses light in creating the physical world, Elohim uses blessing in the creation of ours, the Jewish people. However, the blessing of Bereshit 12 is conditional upon Avrahams willingness to express his faith by going forward into the unknown. Moreover, the blessing is not exclusive. The text states that Elohim will not only bless him but that Elohim will bless those who bless Avraham and that Avraham and his descendants will have the honour and responsibility of being a blessing to others.
The opening verses does seem to denote Elohims greatest gift to us, after the failure of both Adam and Noach to achieve the unachievable of perfection in the first 11 chapters of the Torah, Avraham is told that he can become a blessing because he is going to live in the world as his essential, imperfect self. He is leaving the place of negativity that is pulling him down, and he is leaving his fathers house so as to be able to be his own person and not have to live someone elses light, for it is a dark light. There is no greater blessing from Elohim than this.
So Abram went, as had spoken unto
him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy and five years
old when he departed out of
As Avram arrived in
And appeared unto Abram, and said: Unto thy seed will I give this land; and he (Avram) builded there an altar unto , who appeared unto him
Here Elohim gives Avram the promise of a son for the second time, as He clearly said to thy seed. We know that Avram at this point was by now either still 75, or 76 years old, and Sarai is not exactly a youngster either, but Elohim continued to promise them a son. However, they would have to wait for another 25 years, before Yitzchak - Isaac would be born.
The wonderful truth is, a promise is a promise, it is a matter of Elohims time before the promise would be fulfilled. The point is this, promises, including prayers, will be answered in Elohims time and not in ours!
The Torah then tells us that Avram built
an altar to Elohim in Shechem and he worshipped Him. We
must realise that Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name,
spoke to Avram way back in
Now Avram had been obedient and arrived in the land that Elohim showed him, and it was there that He once again spoke to him. Thus for us the message is also very clear, it is when we are at the right place Elohim, blessed be He, is able to guide and to lead us!
In conclusion -
As we already know, at the beginning of this weeks Torah portion as we have seen, Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, tells Avram to leave his land, his relatives and his fathers house and travel to an unknown land where Elohim will make him into a great nation. Thus we read;
said unto Avram: -
However it was a rather strange order, because
when ones wants to say to somebody Go
the Hebrew order should be simply
Thus the question is, why does the Torah use the words Lech-Lecha which literally means go for yourself when as I said before, only the word Lech - go would have been sufficient?
Elohim was telling Avraham that although this commandment may seem difficult at this time, it is in fact, for your benefit and for your pleasure that you will make this journey. Lech-Lecha was a very personal invitation to enter into a spiritual journey.
Believe me, this is a command that may well be given to all of us at one time during our lives, and it is a command we should really consider entering, for it will bring us into a whole new life, a spiritual life bringing us so much closer to Elohim, blessed be He. Go-for-yourself means depart from your comfort zone and enter into an unknown journey, maybe what will seem like a strange place, but it will be a wonderful spiritual place where you will discover your true self and the purpose of Elohim in your life. It is only when you will find that true purpose of your life; you will fulfil your mission on the earth and so much more!
As we all study this Parsha again, I pray that each of us and all of us will get moving and find a path to improving our lives as well as that of our community. May each of us find a way to be a blessing and then all of us will truly be blessed.
Always remember our motto seen on the logo at the top of this page: The More Torah, the More Life, for Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, is the one who gave us our Life!
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