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?”