Parashat Lekh Lekha 5784

October 23, 2023

Rabbi Marge Wise

A major theme in parashat Lekh Lekha is the account of God’s covenant with Abraham and with the generations which will follow him.

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Parashat Lekh Lekh 5783

October 31, 2022

A D’var Torah for Parashat Lekh Lekha By Rabbi Rena Kieval (’06) Be a blessing! Vehe-yei berakha! I am always struck by the profound, surprising and somewhat mysterious words spoken by God to begin a new relationship with Abraham. God might have opened with something more like, “Follow this important set of rules I will give you,” “You shall believe in Me,” or, “Let us enter into a covenant.” In time, the Torah will present all of those frameworks for a life with God, but God’s momentous first call to Abraham sets the stage with a series of statements about blessing: “I will bless you, those who bless you will be blessed, those who curse you will be cursed, you will be a source of blessing to others, and vehe-yei berakha: you will be, or should be, a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2,3) God’s words about blessing suggest not only the birth of a relationship with Abraham, but a...

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Parashat Lekh Lekha 5782

October 15, 2021

I find myself still catching my breath post Haggim. Taking the process of engaging in Heshbon HaNefesh – an accounting of our behavior – and transforming it into self-improvement in the new year – 5782. For me a question exists of whether it is helpful and productive to establish a high bar of behavior for ourselves; one that we ultimately cannot maintain. In this week’s Parashah, Sarah (still referred to as Sarai at this point), due to her inability to bear children, requests that Avraham (a.k.a Avram) take Hagar as his wife; literally that she gave Hagar to Avraham her husband to be his wife. (Genesis 16:2-3) Notwithstanding the many ways in which this story understandably violates our sensibilities, e.g., the bigamy and misogyny, there is a lesson to be gleaned in how Sarah performs this selfless act. Nehama Leibowitz describes it as an act of supreme sacrifice. (Nehama Leibowitz, New Studies in Bereishit-Genesis,...

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Parashat Lekh Lekha 5781

October 30, 2020

Click HERE for an audio recording of this D’var Torah   Like Terah or Abraham? A D’var Torah for Parashat Lekh Lekha By Rabbi Marc Rudolph (’04) Today I am going to do something quite audacious. I am going to disagree with one of the greatest sages who ever lived! I am going to take issue with one of the greatest Jewish minds of the 20th century — The Hafetz Hayyim! Ever since Ora Prouser introduced us to his collection of weekly Torah Commentary, “Al HaTorah”, I have turned to this collection for study and inspiration. For this week’s Torah portion he focuses on this verse, “Abraham took his family and his possessions and went forth to go to the Land of Caanan – and he came to the land of Caanan” (Gen. 12:5). He compares this to a verse about Terah, Abraham’s father, that we read last week.  There the Torah says, “Terah went forth...

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Parashat Lekh Lekha 5780

November 8, 2019

Is Not the Whole Land Before You? A D’var Torah for Parashat Lekh Lekha By Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD Every year on Simhat Torah, in my home community of Romemu, we unroll the entire Torah and the whole community holds it in a circle. Everyone present receives a biblical verse for the year. Most people draw a verse from a basket with many biblical verses on slips of paper. Some of us like to do it the “old-fashioned way”: by closing our eyes and pointing to the scroll. That’s what I did this year, and my finger landed on this passage: “Avram said to Lot, “Let there not be a quarrel between me and you, between my shepherds and yours, for we are relatives (anashim ahim). Is not the whole land (kol ha’aretz) before you? Please separate from me. If you go left, I will go right, and if you go right, I will go left.” (Gen...

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