The Courage to Be in the Minority

Dozens of moving Aliyah stories have been sent to me since I posted a “Lech Lecha M’Artzecha” (go out from your country) story here earlier this week, but one reader reproached me: Avraham Avinu does not only teach us about our connection to the Land. Lech Lecha is much more than this. Avraham’s message is to stick to the values of faith even when not everyone agrees with you, and not to be ashamed to fight against popular conventions. She is right. Avraham is considered today to be a role-model of many, but in his time, he was a lone fighter.
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch writes about what this Portion teaches us. According to him, Avraham first of all bequeaths to us the eternal ability not to be carried away by a foreign culture:

“Avraham’s values contradicted the accepted values. His whole life was a fierce protest against the spirit of that generation, out of inner truth. How could we have existed, how would we be able to exist, if we hadn’t inherited from Avraham Avinu the courage to be in minority?”

 

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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