Torah:Lekh Lekha (Genesis 12:1-17:27) Haftarah (Isaiah 40:27-41:16)
Requiem Concert by the St. George Interfaith Council at the St. George Catholic Church will be on Sunday, November 6 starts at 6:30pm
Crop Walk will be on Saturday, November 12 starts at 10am.
Interfaith Tabernacle Devotional on Sunday, November 13 starts at 7pm. I was invited to speak. Location: LDS chapel at 1130 Brigham Road In Bloomington Hills.
Abram is called to leave his family and the city of Haran in Mesopotamia. G-d appears to Abram in Canaan and tells him this land will be assigned to him and his heirs. There was a famine in Canaan, Abram goes to Egypt, and for a time lives there. Abram separates from his nephew Lot by remaining in the land of Canaan, while Lot journeys eastward, ultimately settling near the wicked city of Sodom. Lot becomes involved in a war with enemy chieftains, and Abram comes to Lot’s rescue. G-d makes a covenant in which G-d promises him that Canaan shall be the land of the generations of Hebrews to come.
Abram and his wife Sari have no children, he takes Hagar too as wife and with her bears a child named Ishmael. G-d makes a covenant (requiring circumcision of every male on the eighth day) with Abram, whose name is changed to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude of nations.” G-d changes Sari’s name to Sarah, meaning “princess”, and she is told that she will bear a son. Abraham circumcises himself in his ninety-ninth year, while his son Ishmael is circumcised at age thirteen. If a child is ill the circumcision will be scheduled later when the child is healthy. This happens with twins and premature infants.
Keep in mind when Jews name their children that their choice of naming is important. For Jewish people, a name is a complicated gift. Not only does it bestow identity, but also it can reflect religious and spiritual dimensions. First Samuel 25:25 says, “As his name, so the man.” Proverbs 22:1 says that “ a good name is preferable to great riches. ”And the Ethics of Torah, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of a good name excels them all.”
Lekh Lekha, “get you out” means “for your pleasures and for good.” G-d will show you and HE explains that Abraham will not only enjoy the new land in which he is to settle, but that he will realize that it is to his personal benefit to settle there. When we read Noah, Noah constantly needed G-d to give him directions. Notice in Abraham his confidence and that he realized G-d will always be with him on his journey and throughout his life.
Today, people have choices to make. Whether to continue on the paths of their communities or to choose a different direction for better moral and ethical ways. Whatever a person’s decision becomes their freedom to choose. Abraham heard G-d and followed His directions to leave. While leaving one’s home or country may be challenging, Abraham always knew in his heart that G-d was and will continue to be with him on his journey moving forward.
May all our choices be worthy of blessings as we move along on our journeys.
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder