Parsha Talk – Lekh Lekha 5784 2023

Parsha Talk – with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat Lekh L’kha [Genesis 12:1–17:27] is the third parashah in the Book of Genesis. It opens with God’s dramatic call to Avram, instructing him to leave “his land, his birthplace, his father’s house, to go to the land that I [God] will show you”. Because this is the opening verse of the new parashah, it is easy to forget that Avram has already left his land and his birthplace with his father Terah, his nephew Lot, and his wife Sarai for the land of Canaan, making it as far as Haran, just two verses ago. This call to Avram is the beginning of Jewish peoplehood [if we allow for anachronism]. What distinguishes the journey in chapter 12 from the one at the end of chapter 11 is the voice of God. Avram not only hears the voice of God, he follows it. He allows God to lead him. What follows in the parashah are a number of events both in and out of the land, events of moral complexity which lead Avram to Egypt, to a war in the neighborhood, a separation from his nephew Lot, and a covenant with the promise of an heir for the renamed Avraham and his heretofore barren wife. With such a rich parashah, we could not get to everything, but we did talk for quite a while! We hope you enjoy it. Shabbat Shalom!