D’var Torah October 20, 2018

Lech Lecha

Rabbi Dena Feingold

After the holidays, I find that the rich collection of prayers and readings we recite keep coming back to me.  One is the Alvin Fine poem that starts: “ Birth is a beginning and death a destination and life is a journey…” (Mishkan Tefilah, p. 575).  In this week’s parasha, we read of Abraham and Sarah’s journey to an unknown destination and a new way of life, with God at the center.  I like to translate the command that Abraham receives from God — “Lech L’cha”  (also the name of the parasha)– “get yourself up and go.”  But it has been sometimes been translated as “go to yourself,” a journey of self-realization rather than a geographical trek.  Using this translation, Abraham and Sarah become models of how opening ourselves up to living in covenant with God and following the ways of our people can be a journey of self-discovery and a fuller life.  Can you think of a way that your life is richer because of your participation in Jewish life and the keeping of Jewish tradition?  Feel free to share with us in a comment below.