Parasha Lech-Lecha – Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 19, 2007
Torah Portion: Genesis 12:1 – 17:27 Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27 – 41:16
Focal Point: Bereshit 12:1-3, 7-8
1 The Lord said to Abram, Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
2 I will make of you a great nation,
And I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you
And curse him that curses you;
And all the families of the earth
Shall bless themselves by you.”
7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will assign this land to your heirs.” And he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and he built there an altar to the Lord and invoked the Lord by name.
I am going to be lazy this week.
On the surface this is the very start of the Jewish People – The Call of Avraham. Let’s leave that as it is and narrow this to a personal level. Our personal evolution as humans.
It basically all starts when we become adults – we move out and we set up a place for ourselves. That’s the easy part. What is not at all easy, is moving out of our family values and unwritten rules and create our own set of rules and create an adult relationship with our parents, ourselves and with G-d.
What?! Aren’t we to stay with the Torah our father and mother taught us? No. You have to re-examine those values, and make them your own – your way. It’s called growing up. Until you have done this you haven’t left home for real.
The values and unwritten rules you inherited from your parents may be just fine – but for you to have an adult relationship with your parents and with G-d, you have to re-examine them. You also have to re-examine the rules that G-d has given, and determine how YOU are to respond to them.
Tradition teaches us that Avraham questioned his father’s polytheism, and built a personal relationship with ONE G-d. We have to do the same – question our parents’ relationship with G-d, and create our own personal relationship with G-d. This doesn’t mean that we throw Torah out the window or that we distance ourselves from the Community, but we HAVE to start relating to G-d and the community from our own point of view, from our understanding of Who G-d is and what our place in the community really is.
So: Lech-Lecha – Go, Go!