Realize God’s calling for yourself as you learn about where God was calling Abram out from in this week’s Torah portion Lech Lekha! The parashah tells the stories of God’s calling of Abram (who would become Abraham) from his idolatrous land and to the Promised land where God’s name dwells. We also learn about how God blesses Abram with the wealth of the Nations around him, from Nimrod, to Pharaoh of Egypt to Abimelech King of Gerar! We see the selfless nature and kindness of Abram in dividing the land with his nephew Lot and giving him the first choice for the best land. We also learn about the war between the four kings and the five, the covenant between the pieces, Sarai’s tensions with her maid Hagar and Hagar’s son Ishmael, and the covenant of circumcision (בְּרִית מִילָה, brit milah).
Video Teaching For Shabbat of October 31st, 2020
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Lech-L’cha (לֶךְ-לְךָ) leḵ-ləḵā — Hebrew for “go!” or “leave!”, literally “go for you” — the fifth and sixth words in the parashah) is the third weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual cycle of Torah readings. It covers Genesis 12:1–17:27.
Torah Parashah Lech-L’cha Summary
God speaks to Abram, commanding him, “Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.” There, God says, he will be made into a great nation. God shows his great love and devotion to his bride Israel still in Abram’s loins saying,
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Abram and his wife, Sarai, accompanied by his nephew Lot, journey to the land of Canaan, where Abram builds an altar and continues to spread the message of a one God.
A famine forces the first Jew to depart for Egypt, where beautiful Sarai is taken to Pharaoh’s palace; Abram escapes death because they present themselves as brother and sister. A plague prevents the Egyptian king from touching her, and convinces him to return her to Abram and to compensate the brother-revealed-as-husband with gold, silver and cattle.
Back in the land of Canaan, Lot separates from Abram and settles in the evil city of Sodom, where he falls captive when the mighty armies of Chedorlaomer (pronounced Kedar-laomer)and his three allies conquer the five cities of the Sodom Valley. Abram sets out with a small band to rescue his nephew, defeats the four kings, and is blessed by Malki-Zedek (Shem) the king of Salem (Jerusalem).
God seals the Covenant Between the Parts with Abram, in which the exile and persecution (galut) of the people of Israel is foretold, and the Holy Land is bequeathed to them as their eternal heritage.
Still childless ten years after their arrival in the Land, Sarai tells Abram to marry her maidservant Hagar. Hagar conceives, becomes insolent toward her mistress, and then flees when Sarai treats her harshly; an angel convinces her to return, and tells her that her son will father a populous nation. Ishmael is born in Abram’s eighty-sixth year.
Thirteen years later, God changes Abram’s name to Abraham(“father of multitudes”), and Sarai’s to Sarah (“princess”), and promises that a son will be born to them; from this child, whom they should call Isaac (“will laugh”), will stem the great nation with which God will establish His special bond. Abraham is commanded to circumcise himself and his descendants as a “sign of the covenant between Me and you.” Abraham immediately complies, circumcising himself and all the males of his household.
Torah for your Children…
For a simple cartoon summary of the Torah parashah for your children we recommend the following video below created by G-dcast:
Haftarah (Prophets) Summary
The haftarah for this week discusses Abraham‘s journey to the land of Canaan at God‘s behest, and touches upon Abraham’s miraculous battle against the four kings, both of which are described in this week’s Torah reading.
The prophet Isaiah addresses Israel‘s complaint:
“My way [of serving God] has been ignored by the Lord, and from my God, my judgment passes [unrewarded].”
Isaiah reminds Israel of the Creator’s greatness. The time will come when “He will give the tired strength, and to him who has no strength, He will increase strength. Youths shall become tired and weary, and young men shall stumble, but those who put their hope in the Lord shall renew [their] vigor, they shall raise wings as eagles; they shall run and not weary, they shall walk and not tire.” Nevertheless, “there is no comprehension of His wisdom,” and as such, at times we cannot understand why He chooses to delay the reward of the righteous.
The haftorah then turns its attention to the idolatrous nations of the world. Isaiah reminds them of Abraham’s greatness, how after arriving in Canaan he pursued and defeated four mighty kings. “The islands saw and feared; the ends of the earth quaked.” Nevertheless, the nations who witnesses these miracles did not abandon their ways. “The [idol] craftsman strengthened the smith, the one who smoothes [the idol] with the hammer strengthened the one who wields the sledge hammer; the one who glues its coating says, “It is good,” and he strengthened it with nails that it should not move…”
God promises the Jewish nation to reward them for their loyalty to God.
“Do not fear for I am with you; be not discouraged for I am your God. . . Behold all those incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded; those who quarreled with you shall be as naught and be lost.”
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Torah Parashah teaching with video and audio and illustrations by Rabbi Isaac. © 2020 Assembly of Called-Out Believers. Use by Permission.