Thursday, October 22, 2015

Experience The Connection

This week's Parsha, Lech Lecha, starts when Avram is 75 years old. Hashem tells him his first command, to go to a land that He will show him.

Why doesn't the Torah tell us about his early life, how he recognized his creator, how he came to understand that Hashem is is the one true G-d and the sacrifices he made, standing up for his belief in Hashem? Why doesn't the Torah tell us about the kind of person he was, as it does by Noach, "Noach was a righteous man...?" What lesson is the Torah trying to impress on us by starting the story of Avram with a command?

Avram was the first Jew. His life is a lesson on what being a Jew is all about. The Torah only shares stories of Avram that provide a lesson for us, on how to be a Jew.

By opening with Hashem's first command to Avram, Hashem is sending us a message. That the connection between Hashem and a Jew is not based on ones understanding of Hashem, so that the greater the understanding the greater the connection. Rather our connection is because he chose us regardless of our philosophical or theological understanding. Our connection is greater than any understanding, it is an intrinsic connection with Hashem, because he chose us, like he chose Avram.

By not describing Avram's character, Hashem stresses this point. That a Jew is always connected, regardless of his or her spiritual state.

Also, opening with a command, tells us that our purpose is, first and foremost, to do Hashem's commandments. The way we experience this connection is by doing Mitzvas.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that you need to reach some spiritual level to start doing Mitzvas. The opposite is true, by doing Mitzvas you experience the infinite connection that is always there.

This week many are experiencing this connection by the Great Challah Bake, where thousands of Jewish women are getting together to do the Mitzva of Challah and by a global Shabbat, Jews all over the world are uniting to keep Shabbos. If you can take part, wonderful, if not find a mitzva that you can do regularly and if you are already keeping the Mitzvas, find a way to do them better.

Have a beautiful Shabbos and may it truly be a unifying one.


  1. RABBI, This discussion is very instructive. I appreciate your pointing out the purpose of the Torah teaching us about the significance of a persons existence (Avram and his service to god and the demonstration of ascendant mitzvot) rather than the details of persons day to day life (what happened during all those 75 years).
    I wish more Rabbis would address these concepts during services. They would be more interesting, and there would be more minions. Dr John

  2. Wow! The challah bake sounds wonderful. Next year, I hope to make it.

  3. Very nice lesson, thank you for sharing. I very much enjoy reading your weekly thoughts on the parsha!