The Two “Lech Lecha”
By Rabbi Rami Pavolotzky
Parashat Lech Lecha begins with the following verse: “And the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). The words translated here as “go forth” are the ones that give its name to this parasha, lech lecha. These Hebrew words can literally be translated as “go to you,” or “go to yourself.” This is not a common expression in the Torah; in fact, it appears only twice in the entire book, both in the book of Genesis. The first time, in our parasha, this expression is said to Abraham by God to command him to go to the Land of Israel.
“Abraham: The Founder of the Idea of Monotheism as well as an Ethical Person”
Rabbi Daniela Szuster
At the end of this week’s parashah, after the story of Noah and the Tower of Babel, we have a little bit of information about Abraham. It is written in the Torah: “Abram and Nahor took to themselves wives, the name of Abram’s wife being Sarai and that of Nahor’s wife Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren, she had no child. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan; but when they had come as far as Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah came to 205 years; and Terah died in Haran.” (Bereshit 11:29-32)
Torah Thoughts on Parashat Bereshit 5781
Rabbi Rami Pavolotzky
This week we begin anew the annual reading of the Torah. The first parasha of the Torah is Bereshit, which is also the name of the first book of the Torah, Genesis.
In the first chapter of the Torah the creation of the world is described. The Torah tells us the different things God created in each day of the week, namely light, the firmament, the dry ground and plants, the sun, the moon and the stars, the birds and the sea animals, the land animals and human beings. Finally, on the seventh day, the Shabbat, God rested from creating the world.
The Torah does not provide many details about each stage of the creation, nor about the nature of each thing that was created. Rabbis, sages, and commentators in all generations have tried to fill in the gaps. Let’s see a very simple example.
JFA General Assembly