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5 thoughts on this week's Torah portion

פרשת לך לך

Translated by Yehoshua Siskin

True, we are after the elections, but we are still in the midst of Lech Lecha, a Torah portion which raises the following thoughts:

1. This week's Torah portion is the third, following Bereishit and Noach (Noah), and it could be said we are starting from scratch for the third time. In the first two Torah portions, universalist or globalist aspirations were first thwarted in the Garden of Eden and later at the Tower of Babel. Both of these idealistic undertakings, initiated by God in the first case and by human beings in the next, ended in exile and dispersion. A world of separate nations, countries, and identities was necessary. In short, Avraham was needed.

2. In this week's Torah portion, Avraham Avinu and Sarah Imeinu go up on the stage of world history and, in effect, have not come down from it since. If there were a parade of humanity's influencers, they would be leading it. Billions throughout the world see themselves as the disciples of Avraham and Sarah.

3. Avraham and Sarah were the first olim chadashim (new immigrants) to the land of Israel. "Go forth from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father's house" was commanded to Avraham, and he immediately set off for Eretz Yisrael. In his footsteps, throughout the generations, millions have made the same journey.

4. The first mitzvah that Avraham performs is the parasha's only mitzvah: brit milah. Virtually 100% of his descendants have been diligent in performing it too, until this very day.

5. It's worthwhile to remember: He did not achieve the name of Avraham Avinu overnight. In all likelihood, he was first known as Avraham the oddball. At that time, the entire world worshipped idols. But Avraham, despite his numerous doubters and detractors, persisted in teaching everyone about the one God, advocating for justice and kindness, for faith and optimism. Today, all of us know that he was right.

Shabbat shalom.


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