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Thursday, Mar-Cheshvan 9, 5780 / November 7, 2019


This week's Parsha, Lech Lecha, as well as the next two Parshiot, are devoted to our first patriarch, Abraham and first matriarch, Sarah. The Parsha tells about many of the tests which Abraham and Sarah endured, beginning with G-d's commandment to Abraham to leave his land, his birth place and father’s home.


At the age of seventy five, Abraham became the first wandering Jew. Abraham and Sarah left their home and went to this unknown destination--the land of Canaan.  When they finally arrived, G-d brought a famine upon the land and again they had to move. This time, they journeyed to Egypt where they experienced more trials and tribulations.


Torah commentaries discuss why the Torah uses the words "Lech Lecha" which literally means "go for you" when only the word "Lech" ("go") would have sufficed.


Rashi explains that G-d is telling Abraham that although this commandment may seem difficult at this time, it is in fact, "for your benefit and for your pleasure." Whatever G-d commands us to do is truly for our benefit, whether we understand it at the time or not.


"Lech Lecha" can also be understood as "Go to you" – according to what YOU can accomplish.  G-d expects of each person to excel and achieve according to one's ability


The name "Torah" comes from the word "hora'ah" - meaning "teaching" and "lesson." 


The stories of creation and of our patriarchs and matriarchs, which are part of the Torah, are not just a history lesson, but serve to teach and guide us in each generation at all times.


The name of this week’s Parsha, Lech Lecha, is no exception. There is a lesson for us in the two words, Lech Lecha, as the entire Parsha is called.


“Lech Lecha” teaches us that G-d expects each of us to continuously go forward. To achieve, accomplish and go from strength to strength. We must not become discouraged by the fact that others have the ability to accomplish more.  Our sages tell us that all G-d asks of each person is to do the best according to his or her ability.


The noted Chassidic Rabbi Zusia of Anipoli would say, "After I pass on and come before the Heavenly court, I’m not worried that they will ask me why I wasn't as righteous as Abraham or Moshe.  For I am not Abraham nor Moshe and G-d doesn't expect me to be like them. But what I do worry is what if they will ask me, 'Zusia, why weren't you Zusia...  Why didn't you achieve and accomplish the best that you could have accomplished?' To this I will have no answer…"