Thought of the Week: Lech Lecha - 5778


The father of our nation was told by the Almighty to make his way to the Promised Land.  We are told that within a short time the land experienced a famine and was not producing food.  Abraham decided to make his way south to Egypt for survival.  Nachmanides states that Abraham unwittingly committed a sin by going to the land of Pharaoh, for he brought his righteous wife to a bad situation.  He should have stayed in the land, and trusted Hashem who commanded him to dwell in it.

Over the years, many have discussed these words of Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman.  Some were quite unconformable with Nachmanides harsh words towards our patriarch.  Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, on the other hand, notes that the Torah does not conceal the mistakes, misdeeds and weaknesses of the great sages of Israel; but rather, states them, and by doing so, imprints on the stories the seal of truth.  He adds, "If only perfection is presented about our leaders, we would have thought that their nature was different from ours, and that it was beyond our grasp.”  In other words the Patriarchs and Matriarchs were not perfect, they were human.  By being people like us, their actions and life can serve as a guide to all of us.

Shabbat Shalom