Genesis 12:1 - 17:27  Lesson 3 Handout
Torah Portion  Lech Lecha

The Meaning of "To Go Forth"         Sandy Kress

God challenges Abram (later Abraham) to go forth from his native land to a land that God will show him. This is one of the greater challenges of all time. Whether it be a serious transformation in our own lives, taking on a major challenge, or simply making a needed, but difficult change of direction, what might God’s appeal to Abram mean to us?

Our sages had several takes on the merits of this Divine call that may be helpful.

To go forth to the new land may mean “to journey for yourself” (this benefits you); it may mean “to go for yourself” (this can lead to what you can become); it may mean “to go with yourself” (this can lead to finding your true self through a journey to the root of your soul); or it may mean “to go by yourself” (this can lead to developing and exhibiting the courage of going it alone to merit the nearness of the One)

In the Bible, more specifically, we see all sorts of powerful ways in which the response of Abram to this call plays out in the history of people of faith. but, even more, our patriarch models ways for us to live out, and benefit from, opportunities that are available to us if we, too, go forth.

1)The emergence of a person who will contribute to family, people, and ultimately a society, that promotes the way of God,

2)The departure from “the predictable, the unfree, delimited” to become a leader among the eternal people in a manner that transcends attachment purely to the material (the idols of any age) to be true to God and God’s expectations (Sacks),

3)The start of an epic journey in search of God’s ways and truths - especially those grounded in justice, righteousness, and loving kindness,

4)The move to responsibility and maturity in how we live our lives, especially as we leave the home of our parents,

5)The discovery of new and better ways of fulfilling God’s will through taking on “the next level” of work in service to God and our fellow men and women, and, perhaps most basically.

6) The taking on of a risk to do something in faith that is both right and bold.

Lech lecha! Go forth to the land God will show you, and you will be blessed.

Torah Portion  Lech Lecha             Genesis 12:1 - 17:27  

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