Saturday, November 4, 2006

So Clear, Lech Lecha

Today, when it was Shabbat, the Torah Portion of the Week was Lech Lecha. It's my favorite, since it begins with G-d telling Abraham to leave his "country, community and father's home" and go to wherever G-d leads him. (All of the Bible quotations are from here.)

א וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-אַבְרָם, לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ.
1 Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.

Generally, I'm so moved by reading that line that I don't focus on the text afterwards. What a mistake! This morning, suddenly, I read it:

ב וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ, לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל, וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ, וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ; וֶהְיֵה, בְּרָכָה.
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.
ג וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה.
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'

Everything is so clear.

And if that wasn't enough to get my brain racing, the Haftara, the portion read from Prophets this week also had a line that blew me away: (Isaiah Chapter 40)

כח הֲלוֹא יָדַעְתָּ אִם-לֹא שָׁמַעְתָּ, אֱלֹהֵי עוֹלָם יְהוָה בּוֹרֵא קְצוֹת הָאָרֶץ--לֹא יִיעַף, וְלֹא יִיגָע: אֵין חֵקֶר, לִתְבוּנָתוֹ.
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? His discernment is past searching out.
כט נֹתֵן לַיָּעֵף, כֹּחַ; וּלְאֵין אוֹנִים, עָצְמָה יַרְבֶּה.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to him that hath no might He increaseth strength.
ל וְיִעֲפוּ נְעָרִים, וְיִגָעוּ; וּבַחוּרִים, כָּשׁוֹל יִכָּשֵׁלוּ.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall;
לא וְקוֹיֵ יְהוָה יַחֲלִיפוּ כֹחַ, יַעֲלוּ אֵבֶר כַּנְּשָׁרִים; יָרוּצוּ וְלֹא יִיגָעוּ, יֵלְכוּ וְלֹא יִיעָפוּ. {ס}
31 But they that wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint. {S}

I know that not everyone believes and not everyone has his antennae on G-d's messages. It is clear that those in power in the Israeli Government are men and women of ambition, personal ambition, not faith. And their ambitions are tiring them. They want immediate gratification. They have neither the strength nor the patience to develop our nation. They will get their punishment, whether in this world or the next.

Last week our Women's Torah Class was at a neighbor's to commemorate 30 days since her father's death. His name was Avraham, and he suffered a lot from medical problems before he died. She told us that he never complained. He would tell everyone that he had made a deal with G-d. He wanted all of his punishment in this world, Olam HaZeh, so that after he died he would only get his rewards in the next world, Olam HaBa.

Shavua Tov

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