Parsha Lech Lecha- a new hope for Mankind?
Following on from Parsha Noach, where God himself called Man evil from his youth, a new hope for mankind arises and that is Abraham.
So, what was unique about Abraham that he was the first Jew?
Why was it necessary for him to leave his country, city, and family and travel and live in the Land of Canaan?
Why is the land which was promised to his descendants so important?
Why was he challenged 10 times?
What about the challenges in our lives? Why are we so challenged?
Could a single person make a global impact?
Could his influence change the nature of man's natural evilness? Can we train ourselves and our children to be better, kinder, believe in God, and more. caring? And less evil.
The Parsha itself deals with sexual harassment — Pharaoh taking Sarah, economics and greed, immorality — Sodom, and a big war about control and territory.
What’s going on here? In fact, the Parsha could be speaking to us about the world we live in. It seems that nothing has changed and maybe it is worse — you now have war and terror in the name of God or Religion. As Rabbi Sacks z”l phrase — “not in my name” implying that truth has been inverted, morals perverted.
One impact of these events was that it turned Abraham from a simple nomad, shepherd into a military powerhouse.
The question is — what was Abraham going do with this power? The power to influence. What was going to be his message?
At this point, God makes a covenant with Abraham. God promised him that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars.
You then have some element that Abraham believed in God And considered him righteousness (tzedakah). Ztedakah today implies charitable, but here it implies Justice implying doing the right act. Charity is a way of correcting the wrongs in life and society.
This is an important lesson, perhaps this is a key lesson. Charity itself a key ingredient of Judaism.
I saw this week on Facebook, Rav Alex Israel asked.
“How we can influence our kids to be more Jewish, more spiritual, or more connected?”
Probably — one word answers this and that is Charity.
After this ceremony, there is a prophecy of exile, hardship (enslavement), and a return to the Land
The covenant concludes with a promise of the land. Again, Land and what is this obsession with the Land? Why is the world so obsessed with Israel — the land promised to the descendants of Abraham.
After this is the story of Sarah being barren, and the story of Hagar a the prophecy of a wild man who will become the father of the Ishmaelites.
We then have the Covenant of circumcision (Brit Mila) establishing a covenant to his decedents which is we faithfully keep till today — Brit Mila.
In this covenant, God promises Abraham that he will be a father of multiple of nations.
At this point, it is still not clear what the message of Abraham is, and why Abraham and his descendants chosen for this lofty mission.
As in any good Netflix series, you have to wait for the next chapter (Parsha) to hopefully find out. Or maybe it will leave us in suspense till eternity until we discover the truths of life.
To be continued…