Parsha Talk, with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat Lekh L’kha [Genesis 12-17], following on the heels of B’reishit and Noach these past two weeks, is the third in a sequence of winnowing or sifting. Taken together, they illustrate the rabbinic category of work known as bo’rer, which forbids the separation of something good from something bad on Shabbat. The first man, Adam, is created with high hopes. In the course of the next 9 generations, the quality of humankind will deteriorate so badly that God’s only solution is to destroy the world. The next week, the world is recreated anew, as it were, with No’ach. This time when the generations deteriorate, God does not destroy the world, but singles out one individual, Avram, soon to be renamed Avraham [17:5], to be the bearer of God’s word in the world. In the language of the beginning verses of the parashah, Avram’s destiny is to be a blessing, to bring God’s word into the world. We spent nearly the whole conversation on the meaning of these opening verses. When the material is so rich, we do not move very far! We hope you enjoy it. Comments and criticisms are welcome at [email protected]. Shabbat Shalom!