Parshat Lech Lecha

By Sarah Goldstein

This week, the Torah tells Avraham, and thereby us לך לך מארצך וממולדתך ומית אביך אל הארץ אשר אראך…

Hashem is asking each of us to leave the old ruts we are stuck in in so many areas in our lives, and go to our deepest self, as Rebbe Nachman and Reb Nosson teach us לך לך לעצמך, go from all your patterns that come from all these different layers of our past, to our most core essential self, our neshama, our deepest I. But in order to do so we must be willing to embark on the journey to the unknown, to be open to where Hashem is taking us. Avraham was already headed to Eretz Yisrael but they stopped in Charan. Going to the same destination but this time with the commandment of going to where Hashem shows him, opens up the opportunity to discover not just the destination but to find his neshama and Hashem along the way.
There is also another perspective on how to understand this passuk relating to us that I found particularly pertinent, brought down by the first Modzitzer Rebber, the Divrei Yisrael. He brings the Zohar Hakadosh who teaches that לך לך is the call of our neshama being sent into this world. The neshama lacks nothing in Shamayim, it is basking in Hashem’s presence, everything is perfect. But by being sent into this world, the the neshama gets something even higher, the capacity to be a הולך, to grow. This capacity for movement and growth is not possible even for malachim, as well as our neshama before it comes down to this world. This journey of becoming someone that can grow and move and become, לך לך, comes specifically מארצך, from being in this world, within just trying to do this world activities, going through the amount of challenges and bothers we go through to acquire things, to build keilim in this world, that builds us into someone who is growing all the time. Our challenges we face along the way of trying to actualise things in this world are not a hitch along the way, rather they ARE the way we become all we are meant to be. And this is how the passuk continues ואברכך- בבנים ובממון, Hashem says I will bless you with children and money because specifically in engaging with these blessings in this world will you become who you were meant to be, a הולך, a constantly growing person. We all encounter these “this worldly” challenges all the time and sometimes wonder why we have to spend so much time and devotion to these areas rather than areas we may term as Avodas Hashem. But the  Divrei Yisrael goes on to say, that even if engaging with these areas of children and parnassah and all that is attached in this world brings us to a nefila, to fall in our Avodas Hashem, it is a נפילה לצורך עליה, a vital stage in the process that eventually leads us to an even higher level of dveikus than before. Davka going through the challenges of this world, the frustrations and confusions of trying to do things and acquire things in this world, do we get to an even higher level than that which we were on when we were basking in Hashem’s light before coming into this world.
May we be constantly growing people, realising that the journey is bringing us far closer than we ever imagined, let us be open to Hashem taking us to the ארץ אשר אראך and come back to our neshama’s mission on this world.
Good shabbos,
Sarah Goldstein

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