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Canaan

Searching Oneself on the Way Forward

In Lech L’cha, God commands Abram and to travel on a physical journey “to the land that I will show you.” At the same time, God instructs Abram to look within, taking an inner spiritual journey within himself.

D'var Torah By: 
The Reward of a Journey
Davar Acher By: 
Zachary Herrmann

Looking at Parashat Lech L’cha, Rabbi Pearce analyzes Abraham’s departure and his difficult journeys: one a physical challenge, and the other a spiritual challenge. These journeys end with instant gratification: Abraham is given a new name by God for the spiritual journey and land for the physical journey. This inspires us to put our faith in God and be willing to leave everything we know for the greater good. The problem is that Abraham is rewarded at the end. With this example, are we learning that we should expect a tangible gift at the end of our efforts and journeys?

The Making of a Covenant with Men and Women

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).

D'var Torah By: 
A Series of Tests that Lead to the Covenant
Davar Acher By: 
Bruce Kadden

The covenant God establishes with Abram in Genesis 17 originates in God's call to Abram at the beginning of Parashat Lech L'cha: "Go forth from your land, your birthplace, your father's house, to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and it shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will pronounce doom on those who curse you; through you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:1-3).

As enticing as these promises are, it must have taken significant courage for Abram to set out from Haran for an unspecified land. But without asking a single question, Abram went forth from Haran with Sarai, his nephew Lot and their possessions for the land of Canaan.

Why Abraham?

In this week's Torah portion, Parashat Lech L'cha, we begin to read the stories of our patriarchs and matriarchs.

D'var Torah By: 
Ethical Monotheism / Ethical Zionism
Davar Acher By: 
Yossi Afek

Zionismthe love of Eretz Yisrael and the desire to make it a Jewish homelanddid not begin in the nineteenth century, nor was it started by Pi

Abraham, the Rabbis, and Us

Why was Abram told to leave his home and family and go out into the wilderness?

D'var Torah By: 
Some Help Along the Way
Davar Acher By: 
Kathy Schwartz

In Parashat Lech L'cha, Abram accepts God's challenge to go forth from his home and family on a journey with an unclear end and destination.

Listening Is a Divine Art

If a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes so is a word.

D'var Torah By: 
Lech L'cha: Go Forth
Davar Acher By: 
Julie Chizewer Weill

This week's parashah, Lech L'cha, documents the beginning of God's relationship with the people Israel.

Vision From the Starting Line

All of us recognize that a universal vision is integral to Judaism. But from where did it come?

D'var Torah By: 
A New Look at Abram and Sarai
Davar Acher By: 
Jennifer Marx Asch

One of the great mysteries of the Torah is why God chose Abram to be the first Jew. No information is given in the Torah to explain God's selection process.

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