Lech L’cha October 26, 2017

“You go, guy!”  is my current preferred translation for the name of this week’s parasha, Lech L’cha.  “Lech” from the root meaning “to go” and “l’cha,” which means “to yourself” or “for yourself” combines a bit awkwardly in English, but this common contemporary idiom (usually stated in the feminine- “You go, girl!”) seems to be a good fit.  The words are spoken by God to Abram (later renamed Abraham), indicating that God is sending Abram on a great adventure, spiritual and physical, to leave home for an unknown land and to found a great nation based on a new idea:  Monotheism, belief in one God.  In the same way that “You go, girl!” is both a command and a phrase of encouragement, God’s “Lech l’cha” to Abram is stated with authority, promise, love and conviction that Abram is the right person for this special mission.  Because Abram accepted this challenge, we all are Jews to this day.