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Lech L'cha

Lech L'cha

Go Forth
Genesis
12:1−17:27

The Eternal said to Abram, "Go forth from your land, your birthplace, your father's house, to the land that I will show you." - Genesis 12:1

Summary: 
  • Abram, Sarai, and Lot go to Canaan. (12:1-9)
  • Famine takes them to Egypt, where Abram identifies Sarai as his sister in order to save his life. (12:10-20)
  • Abram and Lot separate. Lot is taken captive, and Abram rescues him. (13:1-14:24)
  • Abram has a son, Ishmael, with his Egyptian maidservant, Hagar. (16:1-16)
  • God establishes a covenant with Abram. The sign of this covenant is circumcision on the eighth day following a male baby's birth. (17:1-27)

When do we read Lech L'cha?

2017 Oct 28 /8 Heshvan, 5778
2018 Oct 20 /11 Heshvan, 5779

RECENT COMMENTARY

  • By Ellen M. Umansky

    Almost 25 years after God calls Abram to leave his home in Mesopotamia and go to the land of Canaan, God formally establishes a covenant with him (Genesis 17:4ff.). Like that established with Noah, his descendants, and all living beings (9:8ff.), it is unconditional, everlasting, includes blessings and promises, and carries with it a sign decided upon by God. However, unlike the rainbow, placed in the clouds and passively received by humanity, the sign of God's covenant with Abraham — male circumcision — is something with which Abram and his descendants, not God, are entrusted. They are to circumcise their sons and other male children in their household on the eighth day after birth as a physical sign of the covenant. The punishment for failing to do so is severe. "An uncircumcised male who has not circumcised the flesh of his foreskin," says God, " … shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant" (17:14).

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  • Torah for Tweens

    Explore this week’s Torah portion with “Family Shabbat Table Talk” lessons, perfect for families with tweens.
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