Monday, October 22, 2012

On Your Journey I Will Bless You - Parashat Lech Lecha


           
As you can see, the name of my Blog is the Title of a Parashat. And, it happens to be one of my favorites. Its about journeys, physical ones and also spiritual ones. And, it gives us hope that we all have an opportunity to reach a Promised Land.

We read story of our forefather, Abraham,  and our foremother, Sarah in Parasha “Lech Lecha”.  Before God gave them the names Abraham and Sarah, they were known as Abram and Sarai.
"Abram" means "exhalted father", whereas "Abraham" means "father of many", therefore confirming the promise that God gave him of blessing him and his many descendants.

"Sarai" means "my princess", but "Sarah" means simply "Princess", indicating that she will be exhalted, not only by her husband, but by all Nations.

 Thus begins the story of the Jewish people.    
        “Lech Lecha” is about an act of God—the beginning of the story of the Jewish people.  God calls Abram and Sarai to the land of Canaan.  God makes the Covenant with them, the promise of nations to come and descendants to carry on their names.  This is the journey to a land that God will show us.  But what is that journey?  Is it a physical journey?  The story in the Torah tells us it is.  But it is more than that.  This is a journey of self-discovery.  (notice the description of my blog)
            The very name is clue to this.  The meaning of this Parashat “Lech Lecha” is –go to your self.  The commentator, Rashi explains that God promised Abram that the journey would be for his own benefit.  Although travel was costly and unsettling and difficult in ancient times, God assured him the journey would bring blessing, fame and descendants.  The families of the earth shall bless themselves by his great name.
            And as God promised our ancestors, Abram and Sarai, so too this is a promise to each of us that through our journey within, our journey to self discovery, to Jewish connection through faith in our God, we will receive blessings that we can appreciate in our own lives.  In a deeper sense, God told Abram to go to his true being.  Going on this journey to his self and deepening his faith in God would allow him to reach his true essence.  And that indeed is the Promised Land! 
It must have been difficult to be like Abram, to trust in the path never before taken, to believe in the Holy One in the face of the comfort of the familiar.  Most of us are constantly struggling to invent new and different ways to participate in our faith. Our beliefs are varied…and they’ve evolved over the generations. .
Hopefully, on your journey to self-discovery, you too will reach your own promised land.


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