Torah Tidbits


A Journey to Where…?!

Shabbat Parashat Lech L’cha

October 12, 2013 – 8 Cheshvan 5774

A Journey to Where…?!

Here we go again…This year we are reading the first third of each weekly Torah portion for the Jewish year of 5774 in our Shabbat morning services.  Of course, despite the fact that we read only one third of the weekly Torah portion as part of our Shabbat morning services, the entire weekly Torah portion gives us food for thought each week!  So, Tidbits of Torah might sometimes refer to something in the beginning of the weekly Torah portion, but it might also relate to something that is found later on in the continuation of the weekly Torah reading….


This week, however, I’m struck by something right at the beginning of our parsha [weekly Torah portion].  God speaks to Abram (whose name later became: Abraham) saying: Lech L’cha [get going]… to the Land which I will show you.  These words mark the beginning of a journey toward the as yet unknown destination that God had in mind for Abraham.  And, as we read this amazing Torah portion, Abram’s journey might resonate with our own journey/s in life…

Abram was not a youngster when he got this call to set out on his journey toward the Promised Land.  He was seventy five years old.  Why does the Torah tell us how old he was when he heard God’s call to set out on this journey?  Because the Torah wants us to know that it is never too late to listen for the call to action.  It is never too late to change course in life.  And, it is never too late to take part in the creation and transmission of Jewish life and values.

The words Lech L’cha in Hebrew are spelled identically to one another in the Torah.  Both words are made of two Hebrew letters.  Both words begin with the letter Lamed (which extends vertically upward from the written line, as if reaching for the sky), and end with the letter Chaf Sofit (which extends vertically downward from the written line, as if representing roots that keep us firmly planted in reality).

These words were not only meant for Abram’s ears.  They were meant for ours as well.

As Abram set about following God’s lead toward the Promised Land – as he was blessed with being the progenitor of a great nation which would potentially convey God’s vision of peace, of justice, of mercy, and of blessing to this world – so were we invited to be a part of that sacred journey…

May we listen for the call and follow God’s lead.

May our individual and communal journeys resonate with Torah.

May we always strive to connect heaven and earth, in our efforts to fulfill the vision of our prophets for a world of greater peace, of greater joy, and of greater blessing.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror