Midreshet Amit


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Parshat Lech Lecha

By: Rabbi Jason Knapel

We know that part of the Gadlut, greatness of Avraham was that he went through ten tests and passed with flying colors because he dedicated every aspect of his life to G-d. When looking at the test of Lech Lecha we see that Hashem wanted to see if he would leave his country and home to follow G-d's word and go to Israel. We feel the anxiety of leaving to an unknown destination, of following blindly the word of G-d. And yet if we investigate a little more is this test really difficult?

First Avraham is promised great wealth if he takes the trip. Second was it so difficult for Avraham to leave his country of origin? We should assume not because he was sentenced to death, thrown into an oven, surrounded by idol worshippers and in general was not living amongst the nicest folks.

So why is this such a test?

A friend of mine once explained that the test was about Koach HaHergel - the power of inertia or the idea that people like to do what they have always done - they do not want to change their routine even for the better. Once a person has done something for years they want to keep doing it. So Avraham grew up in a place that was awful - but at least it was an awfulness he knew and understood. To leave now and go off on a new adventure meant fighting the yetzer Hara to leave things as they are to avoid change.

Often in our lives the Koach HaHergel is very strong we continue to do things even though we know we should change - because that is the way things are and that is the way they have always been done.

In some ways Judaism believes that we should leave things as they are - we are TRADITIONAL. But in reality that is only when we are speaking of the overall system. When we are speaking about the individual we are always interested in change (as long as it is for the better) The Yetzer tells us we are what we are and that is the way it is. Judaism says things can always change. As Chaz"al tell us even when the sword is on your throat to not be meyaesh - do not despair.

We get into situations that we think we are stuck in. When we fall from our greatness we feel that is the way it is. What we really need to do is pick ourselves up and start anew.

May we be zocheh to attach to the zechut of Avraham and may all of you follow in Avraham's footsteps of Lech Lecha to Eretz Yisrael

Shabbat Shalom

Rav Knapel