Parashat Lech Lecha

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[edit] Leaving Charon

Hashem told Avraham to leave his land, birthplace and father's house and travel to the land that He would show him. Hashem did not reveal Eretz Yisroel as his destination, to make it dear in Avrahom's eyes[1] and to give him reward for every command [1] Hashem instructed him regarding it, as well as every word and word that Avraham implored and begged Hashem to merit its revelation.[2] It was also done to confuse him and make him uncertain, forcing him to search and seek what Hashem's will was,[3] as even the greatest Tzadikim have to pass though this confusion before reaching higher levels of Torah.[4] This is their main test[3] and the searching itself raises them to great levels where Hashem then reveals His will to them.[3]

Although Avrahom had already left his land and birth place of Ur Casdim along with his father Terach,[5], he was now told to further distance himself from there[1] and to leave his father's new home in Charon.[1]

[edit] The Blessings

Leaving was for his own benefit and good,[1] Hashem blessed[6] Avraham that there He would make him into a great nation as outside Eretz Yisroel he would not merit to have children.[1] He would multiply despite the nature of travel is to diminish procreation.[6] Hashem would also publicize his name in the world,[1] despite travel tending to diminish fame.[6] Avrahom was also blessed with wealth to compensate the depletion of money caused by travel.[6] Additionally the letter Heh was added to his name changing it from Avrom (אַבְרָם) to Avrahom (אַבְרָהָם),[6] raising the numerical equivalents of 248, corresponding to the number of a person’s limbs.[6]

Hashem also handed over to Avrahom the ability to give blessings as he willed.[6] Until now blessings were only in the hand of Hashem and He used that to bless Adom, Noach and Avrohom.[6] Additionally the first blessing of the Amida would start with Avraham, Yitzchak and Yackov but would conclude with him alone, as it closes with the Shield of Avrahom.[6]

All those that bless Avraham would be blessed and all those that curse him, Hashem will curse them. When any man[7] from the families on earth wants to bless his son, he will bless him to be like Avrohom.[7]

[edit] The Trip

Avrahom at age 75 left Charan as instructed by Hashem taking his wife Sarah and his brother in law and nephew, son of his brother, Lot with him. They also took all their possessions with them as well as all the souls they had created in Charan, which included the slaves and maidservents they had acquired[8] as well as converts they had converted[8] They traveled to Canaan until the reached the land.

[edit] Maker of Converts

Avrahom would spend a lot of effort to create converts and spread the Holy Faith in the world, specifically the youth.[9] Males converts were converted by Avrahom and the females were converted by Sarah.[8] Avrahom underwent a lot of suffering and opposition due to his efforts to bring other close to Hashem.[9] When Avrahom would enter a city he would run throughout the city and yell 'Hey, Hey, Givald', causing all the people to chase him as they would a madman. Once he had their attention he would turn around and start lengthy debates with them how they were all greatly mistaken. Avrahom was a great expert in the theory and logic of ancient idolatry and knew all their faults. He would show and prove to them their mistakes and he would reveal to them the Holy True Faith. Out of the crowds some of the youth would start following him.[9] Avrahom would only try to bring close the youth as the older people were already entrenched in their mistakes and it was hard to revert them from their ways.[9] Avrahom and who followed him would go from city to city[9] The fathers of these youth and their wives would wage controversy on them, saying they had fallen to a path of evil path and become apostates. They would greatly distance them, until some of the youth reverted to their former ways due to the suffering they experienced from their home, father-in-law, wife, etc.. Yet some of the youth remained with Avrahom.[9] Avrahom authored thousands of books to publicize Holiness.[9]

[edit] Entering the Land

Avraham entered[10] and passed through the land of Eretz Yisroel, reaching Shechem which was also known as[10] Elon Moreh, in order to pray for the sons of Yackov when they will later battle against Shechem.[10] There Hashem showed him Mount Gerizim and Mount Aval, where the Jews later accepted the oath of the Torah.[10] When Noach divided the World between his sons, Eretz Yisroel fell in the portion of Shem, while he himself served as the king of Salem (Yerushalaim).[10] Despite this, the Canaanites fought and conquered the land from the descendants of Shem[10] and they now occupied it.

Hashem appeared to Avraham and told him, He will give the land to his descendants, thereby returning it in the future to the offspring of Shem.[10] Avraham built an there an altar to Hashem who had appeared to him, due to the good news that he would have children and they will inherit Eretz Yisroel.[11]

From there Avraham moved his tent[12] to the mountain, east of Betel. There Avraham first pitched his wife's tent and only then his own tent.[12] He built an altar for Hashem to pray for his dependents after prophetically seeing the sin of Achan that would later take place there.[12] Betel was on his west[12] and the Ai on the east. He then called in the name of Hashem.

Avraham continued to travel southward in intervals. He would camp in a place for a month or more, then travel further and set up camp there. All his travels were geared southward, to reach the Southern Eretz Yisroel, towards Yerushalaim and Har Moriah which was in the territory of Yehuda.[13]

[edit] The Famine

There was a famine in the land and Avraham descended to temporarily live in Egypt, due to the severity of the famine. Unlike normal famines that effect all countries in the region, this famine effected Eretz Yisroel only. This was done to test Avraham, to see if he would have hesitate regarding the order of Hashem to go Live in the land of Canaan and now Hashem was forcing him to leave it.[14]

[edit] Descent to Egypt

When Avraham came close to arriving in Egypt, he told Sarai his wife, since he now knows that she is a woman of fair appearance he is afraid the Egyptians will see her and kill him since she is his wife and let her live. Due to the modesty between them, Avraham did not recognize her beauty until that point when an incident took place on that trip.[15] Additionally it is natural that that due to the hardships of travel a person gets disgraced but she retained her appearance.[15] Also now that they are going to be amongst black and ugly people, relatives of the Cushites, who are not accustomed to a beautiful woman, this is an issue.[15] Instead she should please say that she is his sister, so they will treat him good, give him gifts[16] and let his soul live because of her.

When Avraham came to Egypt, he hid Sarai in a chest.[17] When the Egyptians opened the chest to collect taxes for its content,[17] they saw Sarai and that she was very pretty. Pharaoh's ministers saw her and they praised her amongst themselves saying she was fit for Pharaoh.[18] Sarai was taken to Pharaoh's home.

[edit] War of the Four Kings

Before setting out with his followers to battle the Four Kings, Avraham encouraged his students to do Teshuva.[19]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Rashi Berashis 12:1
  2. ^ Likutay Halachos, Hilchos Shabbos 7:75
  3. ^ a b c Likutay Halochos, Hilchos Nefilas Apayim 6:8
  4. ^ Likutay Moharan 2 Torah 12
  5. ^ Berashis 11:31
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rashi Berashis 12:2
  7. ^ a b Rashi Berashis 12:3
  8. ^ a b c Rashi Berashis 12:5
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Chayi Mohran 395:4
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Rashi Berashis 12:6
  11. ^ Rashi Berashis 12:7
  12. ^ a b c d Rashi Berashis 12:8
  13. ^ Rashi Berashis 12:9
  14. ^ Rashi Berashis 12:10
  15. ^ a b c Rashi Berashis 12:11
  16. ^ Rashi Berashis 12:13
  17. ^ a b Rashi Berashis 12:14
  18. ^ Rashi Berashis 12:15
  19. ^ Likutay Moharan I, Torah 11
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