Parashat Lech Lecha 5776–The Journey Continues

Lech Lecha is the direction given by God to Avram and Sarai leading to the “founding” of what would become the Jewish people. He and Sarai left the comforts of home to a new place they did not know. Leaving behind the known for the unknown is not an easy task. Leaving your comfort zone is a common prerequisite for major gains and accomplishments. We discussed this last week as being one of the principal differences the Sages point out between a Noah and an Abraham.

After the flood, Noah who was actually captain of the mighty Ark and the future of life on earth, crashed and burned in a disappointing display. The Torah pulls no punches and allows us to learn from the mistakes and shortcomings of our heroes. In contrast to Noah, Abraham’s growth continued along his journey in a sustained fashion.

Some say that our world has never been in greater need of positive change makers– of more Abrahams and Sarahs. We are each responsible not only for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren (if so blessed), for our people and our world.

Sometimes though, we are so busy with our “day to day,” that we do not look beyond that. Our present obscures our future vision. By the time we do stop to look back and reflect, life may have passed us by. I cannot think of anything much sadder than the life of opportunity squandered. But so long as there is life, there is hope and opportunity. Apropos to this time of year, the words of Baseball Prophet Yogi Berra z”l that “It ain’t over till it’s over,” ring true.

The Rabbis teach us of the Torah—“Maasei Avot, siman l’banim.” We are to learn from the stories of our ancestors. God is saying Lech Lecha to each of us!

Where should you go? What should you do? Who might you influence to make a difference? There are innumerable examples in our Torah and heritage of even the smallest acts setting the stage for the greatest game changers.

Today would be an outstanding time to reflect on your life’s journey and your vison for your future. Perhaps this evening over Shabbat dinner could also be a time for reelection with your family and let your children hear your own thoughts. How beautiful for a child to hear your story, plan and vision. These are the moments and conversations that we remember as the teller and the listener.

But you are also in luck that tomorrow, Rabbi Joey Krakoff will be our teacher at Shabbat Torah Study and will be exploring Abraham and Sarah’s journey, the challenge of faith, and the journeys we all undertake amid the challenges and opportunities of life. There is no doubt that all in attendance will benefit from this experience. Each of us is on a journey. I believe we will all journey longer, stronger and better when we journey together and with words of Torah to guide us.

9:45 a.m. in the Shiffman Chapel. Come as you are. Stay as long as you like.

Shabbat Shalom,

Paul

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