Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

Download print

Parashat Lech-Lecha: The Real Test

Parashat Lech-Lecha begins with God command to Abraham to leave his homeland and settle in Canaan. This command is listed as one of the ten tests with which God tested our patriarchs and which he successfully withstood.

We might wonder why this is considered a test. True, it is very difficult and challenging to leave oneís homeland and move to a new country, and it is especially difficult to leave without knowing where exactly one is going, as was the case with Abraham ("GoÖto the land that I will show you" Ė Bereshit 12:1). But we must bear in mind that God explicitly promised Abraham great rewards for relocating Ė offspring, wealth and prominence. If God Ė whose word can always be trusted Ė appeared to us and promised us a life of great success and wealth if we moved to some remote location, would we hesitate? Wasnít this decision a no-brainer for Abraham? Why was this command considered a test?

The answer is that the command to move to Canaan could not be fulfilled in an instant; it entailed a lifelong commitment. There have always been people who rose to the occasion under exceptional circumstances and heroically withstood the most difficult and trying ordeals. In Spain, Germany, and on countless other occasions throughout our nationís turbulent history, there have been Jews who made heroic decisions, sacrificing property and life for their faith. Abraham, too, was prepared to sacrifice his life for the sake of his beliefs when he defied the king, Nimrod, and refused to worship idols even at the threat of death. These acts of heroism are undoubtedly remarkable and inspiring, but they lasted for just a few moments. The test of "Lech-Lecha" was greater, because it required Abraham to accept Godís command each and every day of his life. Even when a devastating drought struck Canaan shortly after his arrival, forcing Abraham to temporarily settle in Egypt, where his wife was then abducted, he had to retain his faith and remain steadfastly committed to God. This command did not require the sacrifice of life, but it required consistent devotion over many years and decades. And this is perhaps the greatest test of all.

Spiritual greatness does not depend merely on oneís ability to rise to the occasion and make great sacrifices under dire circumstances. This is certainly important, but the real challenge is the consistent, lifelong, day in and day out commitment to Torah. For most of us, major tests present themselves rarely and are usually temporary. The real challenge of the Jew is that of "Lech Lecha," maintaining our ongoing faith and devotion amid the inevitable bumps in the road that come up on a daily basis. By consistently withstanding these smaller, daily tests, we follow in the footsteps of our great patriarch and prove ourselves to be worthy bearers of his legacy.


Sefer/Parasha:
Parashat Vayera: We Never Lose by Following G-dís Will
Parashat Lech Lecha: Receiving the Power to Bless
Parashat Noah: The Complete Sadik
Parashat Bereshit: Producing Biological and Spiritual Children
Sukkot and the War of Gog Uímaggog
Parashat Ha'azinu: Calling to G-d in Times of Trouble
Shabbat Shuva- Teshuba & Torah Learning
Rosh Hashana: Reaching the Heavenly Throne, One Step at a Time
Parashat Ki Tabo- The Darkness Before the Light
Parashat Ki Teseh: Strengthening Ourselves in Preparation for Redemption
Parashat Shoftim: Pure, Simple Faith
Parashat Re'eh: Earning a Livelihood Through Joy
Parashat Ekeb: G-dís Eternal Love for His Nation
The Great Joy of Tu BíAb
Debarim: The Proper Response to Crisis
Page of 62
919 Parashot found