Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Lech Lecha

No Second Thoughts

By Rabbi Pinchas Avruch

When G-d commanded Avram - his name had not yet been changed to Avraham - to go to the Land of Canaan, he was told to "Go for yourself, from your land, from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you." (Beraishis/Genesis 12:1) Rashi explains that Avram was to go for his own good and his own benefit, that he would not merit to have children outside of the promised land, and that it was only in the promised land that his reputation and renown for righteousness would become publicized. Nevertheless, Avram's reality was that he had no idea where his destination was; he had no foresight as to what land he would be shown.

Chasam Sofer (Rabbi Moshe Sofer of Pressburg, 1762-1839, acknowledged leader of Hungarian Jewry of the time) expounds that Avram believed that he was destined for an unclaimed land. Avram was forty-eight years old at the time of the Dispersion following the destruction of the Tower of Babel (see 11:8-9). Now, a mere twenty-seven years later, there were still many lands that were uninhabited; Avram assumed he was destined for one of them. But to his surprise, when "Avram passed into the land as far as the site of Shechem, until the Plain of Moreh, the Canaanites were still in the land. And G-d appeared to Avram and said, 'To your offspring I will give this land,' so he built an altar there to G-d Who appeared to him." (Ibid 12:6-7) He had the challenge of leaving his father's home for an unknown destination, and when he reached that destination, he discovered he was but a visitor; his descendants would not take true possession of the land for another 465 years. And what was his reaction? An expression of thanksgiving, an offering to G-d. No second thoughts.

How was he able to react this way? "So Avram went as G-d had spoken to him and Lot (his nephew and brother-in-law) went with him; Avram was seventy five years old when he left Haran." (Ibid v.4) When Avram did leave his father's home, as much as G-d had encouraged him with great benefits to come in his new homeland, he went, explains Rabbi Sofer, because G-d had told him to go. It did not matter that he was already of advanced age and its affects were already manifest, and it did not matter what he found when he got there; G-d told him to go so he went.

This challenge was but one of the ten great challenges the Avraham faced in his lifetime, a series that culminated with the Akeidas Yitzchak (Binding of Isaac; see chapter 22). Avraham did not simply meet these challenges because he was "Avraham". He became "Avraham" because he met the challenges. No second thoughts.

Life is filled with challenges, some small, some great. An Olympic track and field athlete understands that his coach will continue to raise the bar - not because the coach hates him and not because the coach wants to see him fail. The coach wants him to grow stronger and more powerful and knows that this will only happen if the level of challenge increases. When challenges and stumbling blocks are placed in life's path, we have our great-grandfather Avraham to look up to and emulate. G-d is the ultimate "trainer" for He only gives us challenges we can meet. Let us meet them, let us be thankful for them, and let us grow.

Have a Good Shabbos!


Copyright © 2003 by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON VAESCHANAN AND TU BEAV:

View Complete List

The Multilayered Torah
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Ahavas Hashem: For the Love of G-d
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Precious Jewels
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

> Down to Earth Spirituality
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

The Best Kept Secret
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

The True Consolation Prize
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Perscription for Happiness
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5762

Beyond the Letter of the Law
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

ArtScroll

The Long Journey to the Heart
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Twice the Responsibility
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Loving G-d
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Comfort My People
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Starting With the Best Materials
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Nation Destined for Greatness
Shlomo Katz - 5766

The Laws of Relaxation
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information