Thursday, October 14, 2010

Go and Find Yourself

Art: Entering the Land - by Barbara Mendes
וַיֹּאמֶר יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֶל אַבְרָם לֶךְ לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ -  And the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you.

The practical message within the opening of Parsha Lech Lecha is:

לֶךְ לְךָ - Usually translated as "Go for yourself", it could also be rendered as "go to yourself".  Reveal your true identity as a Jew - you are a child of Avraham.

To do this:

מֵאַרְצְךָ - "from your land". Go away from your worldliness, from your physical desires.

 וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ - "from your birthplace".  Do not do mitzvos by rote, as an habitual routine which you were brought up to follow.

 וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ  - "from your father's house".  In Chassidic thought wisdom is referred to as "father". In this verse, the "father" refers to the wisdom of the Evil inclination.  The Torah tells us: Go away from your "father"! Don't be a "wise guy" when it comes to mitzvos. Don't rationalize them away.

And through all of the above, we come:

אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ - "to the land which I will show you" - Hashem will lead us to, and reveal to us true spirituality. God's supernal "land".

[Based on Likutei Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
The Gutnick Chumash]

Click here for: Text of Parsha - Hebrew and English - with Rashi

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