There are two very significant points for me in this week’s Parshah לֶךְ-לְךָ Lech Lecha.
First comes from an amazing shiur of Rabbi Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain. He argues that if we look closer at the text of the previous Parshah:
וַיִּקַּח תֶּרַח אֶת-אַבְרָם בְּנוֹ, וְאֶת-לוֹט בֶּן-הָרָן בֶּן-בְּנוֹ, וְאֵת שָׂרַי כַּלָּתוֹ, אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם בְּנוֹ; וַיֵּצְאוּ אִתָּם מֵאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים, לָלֶכֶת אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן, וַיָּבֹאוּ עַד-חָרָן, וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם.
|And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there|
we will realize that Abram had just extended his journey, not started a new one. He had already left his homeland with his father, and after that, it was a more natural step for him to go out of this place to follow the “voice” of Gd.
This was quite a novel idea for me, and this year it seems very timely. It does seem that no matter how often we think that we do things completely unrelated to our parents, we actually, keep holding something intangible within every step:
“One of the great discoveries that tend to come with age is that we begin to realise that having spent what seems like a lifetime of running away from our parents, we find that we have become very much like them – and the further away we ran, the closer we became. “(R. J.Sacks)
Another point that strikes me in this Parshah is the fact that we are only in the third week of reading Torah, and already we are told that
יד וַיהוָה אָמַר אֶל-אַבְרָם, אַחֲרֵי הִפָּרֶד-לוֹט מֵעִמּוֹ, שָׂא נָא עֵינֶיךָ וּרְאֵה, מִן-הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה שָׁם–צָפֹנָה וָנֶגְבָּה, וָקֵדְמָה וָיָמָּה.
|14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him: ‘Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward and eastward and westward;|
טו כִּי אֶת-כָּל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה רֹאֶה, לְךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה, וּלְזַרְעֲךָ, עַד-עוֹלָם.
|15 for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.|
טז וְשַׂמְתִּי אֶת-זַרְעֲךָ, כַּעֲפַר הָאָרֶץ: אֲשֶׁר אִם-יוּכַל אִישׁ, לִמְנוֹת אֶת-עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ–גַּם-זַרְעֲךָ, יִמָּנֶה.
|16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.|
יז קוּם הִתְהַלֵּךְ בָּאָרֶץ, לְאָרְכָּהּ וּלְרָחְבָּהּ: כִּי לְךָ, אֶתְּנֶנָּה.
|17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for unto thee will I give it.’|
יח וַיֶּאֱהַל אַבְרָם, וַיָּבֹא וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא–אֲשֶׁר בְּחֶבְרוֹן; וַיִּבֶן-שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ, לַיהוָה.
|18 And Abram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the terebinths of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.|
So, practically, the first place explicitly mentioned as the dwelling place of our pra-father is Hebron.
Hebron, where the very air smells of stories of the first Jewish family! Hebron, where the famous cave of Machpelah was purchased by Abraham for a hefty sum of money – four hundred shekels of silver! (Genesis 23:15) Hebron, where to build a new Jewish house one has to wait until Jewish blood has been spilled on its streets!
Each one of us gets The Call
Why do we not hear? לֶךְ!
Why am I not on that road yet?
The air is crisp
The blood is real
The land is ancient. It calls us home! לֶךְ!
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