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Go into yourself, into your soul

Translation by Yehoshua Siski

When delivering lectures in English, I find it difficult to translate "Lech lecha." This command, spoken to Avraham in this week's Torah portion, is composed of two words that look the same (לך לך) but are different. And this is not a command like "Lech le'Yerushalayim" (Go to Jerusalem) or "Lech le'Tel Aviv" (Go to Tel Aviv). Our commentators explain that this command is meant for you to go into yourself (lecha), into your soul. The first two words spoken to the first Jew are a command to move, to go, but above all to look inside. Only then will it be possible to go out into the world and bring others closer to God.
Avraham is commanded to find his purpose, to be the best version of himself. In the Torah commentary "Sefat Emet," a revolutionary idea is expressed: "The command of 'Lech lecha' is spoken constantly by God to everyone, but Avraham Avinu actually heard, internalized, and acted upon it."
In other words, this call for self-actualization resonates in the world all the time. We need only tune in to its frequency. To us as well, the descendants of Avraham Avinu, the command of "Lech lecha" is given. Even at this very moment.
May we merit to hear it as he did.


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