Parshas Lech Lecha: Go for YOURSELF. (November 9, 2019)

1) 💥OK here we go. 💥

2) We are in the Bible portion of “Lech Lexus,” in Genesis.

3) Links for those who want them.

* Bible portion online

Lech Lecha- Parshah – Weekly Torah PortionIntroducing Abram, age 75 . . . Sarah’s abduction . . . Lot relocates to Sodom . . . the Covenant Between the Parts . . . Hagar and Ishmael . . . Abraham’s circumcision. Also: dust and stars, threa…https://www.chabad.org/parshah/default_cdo/aid/9169/jewish/Lech-Lecha.htm

* Clean white noise
4) Technical information.

Today’s Hebrew date: Cheshvan 11, 5780
English date: November 9, 2019

Primary Reading: Genesis 12:1 – 17:27
Supplemental Reading: Isaiah 40:27 – 41:16 5) Why I do Bible study here and not in synagogue.

Someone saw me the other week, with Bible; I said: “I do Bible study online; want to know where to get this?”

Them: “But it’s Sabbath you shouldn’t be using the Internet, right?”

I said, “Better than driving to the mall.”5) Now. I know I say this many weeks. But Lech Lecha is actually my favorite portion of the Bible. 6) The very first words of the portion are (Gen. 12:1):

“וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵֽאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ” 7) “And the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.'” 8) Look at the words in Hebrew for a minute.
You may not understand Hebrew, but you can see that they are hyphenated.
“לֶךְ־לְךָ֛”

“Lech-Lecha”

“Lech” – Go
“Lecha” – For Yourself 9) Now, the grammar on that word “Lecha” is unusual.

Technically it means “For You”

You would use it to say “I did something FOR YOU”

Not to say “Do this thing FOR YOURSELF”

findwords.info/term/lech-lecha 10) This may seem like a tedious over-focus but the point of the words is important when you look at them in context.

God is telling “Avram” – he is not yet called “Avraham” or in English “Abraham” – to leave his home. 11) Avram’s father is a maker of idols.

Like, people would come to the store and buy the idols in order to worship them, so as to increase their good fortune.12) Now, when I learned this Torah portion in yeshiva (religious school), they made it sound like the people of Avram’s time were kind of stupid.

“Bowing down to idols,” who does that?13) But in fact, “worshiping idols” is another way of saying “practicing magick,” and all the things you read about today – specifically rituals involving murdering babies – were standard practice and they worked to increase the power of the person performing the ritual. 14) The problem with “magick,” of course, is that you are actually invoking the devil when you use it.

Your rewards may seem real, but the punishment begins immediately and it is eternal.15) If you have the time, I highly encourage you to read this transcript (it’s not that long) of John Ramirez, a reformed satanist. It is a personal testimony that attests to the above information.

Ramirez by the way is Christian.

Transcript: Testimony of John Ramirez, Redeemed SatanistDannielle Blumenthal’s blog. Musings on marketing, organizational development, memories, and life.https://www.dannielleblumenthal.com/2018/06/transcript-testimony-of-john-ramirez.html16) In any case, if you really think about it, the situation Avram faced when God called to him was actually very unusual, and if he had consulted contemporary people about it, what would they have said?17) People really do have this reaction – even today.

“God spoke to me, and I totally overturned my life” – yeah, right. 18) Just yesterday, I heard someone telling someone else about a woman who had gone to Harvard.19) The Harvard lady graduated and had a great job as a lawyer.

(Pic:

Free Image on Pixabay – Women, Business, AttractiveDownload this free picture about Women Business Attractive from Pixabay’s vast library of public domain images and videos.https://pixabay.com/photos/women-business-attractive-dynamic-2748752/)

20) But one day, so to speak, God “called out” to her. 21) The next thing you know, she is on a plane…to Israel.

(Pic: Dmitry Terekhov/Creative Commons

Boeing-747-400 El Al Israel AirlinesExplore Dmitry Terekhov’s photos on Flickr. Dmitry Terekhov has uploaded 957 photos to Flickr.https://www.flickr.com/photos/44400809@N07/26521157680)

22) And she’s married, and covering her hair.

(Pic: Quinn Dombrowski/Creative Commons

Day 68: What Do You Wear to an Orthodox Jewish Funeral?The first thing I had to google this morning. It was a very sad day. Rest in peace, Tzali.https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/3342891202/in/photolist-66pc6d-8VSPQ-7vfMLk-QfWpcM)

23) The person relaying this story about the former Harvard lawyer, now religious teacher, was glowing when she finished telling it.

“Isn’t that wonderful?” she said. “How inspiring!”24) But the person hearing this story had a completely different reaction.

“That is insane.” 25) The person hearing this story said: “Do you even HEAR yourself?” 26) And this is the dialogue, going back and forth.

One person is in awe of the spirituality here.

The second person is extremely skeptical of the radical personality and life shift.

I think we can relate to both sides of it. 27) But the point of the Bible story, about AVRAM

(remember his name is not yet AVRAHAM, because he has not yet accepted God)

is that he listens to God. 28) Now we can delve into the Bible portion more later, but the point is that when God calls out to Avram, He says:

“Go FOR YOURSELF.”

You’re not being called “FOR ME” – God is perfect and limitless and omnipotent and all-knowing, all-seeing, and everywhere.

It’s for YOU. 29) Notice also that God is not removing Avram from his home by force.

Then the grammatical construction would be “I did this FOR YOU.”

As we usually hear with the word “Lecha.”

“I did this FOR YOU.”

Rather, you must LEAVE (“Lech”) FOR YOU (“LECHA.”) 30) Even more deeply, the word “Lecha” actually means “TO you,” not “FOR” you, although we use it to mean the latter.

So God is telling Avram, “Go to yourself.”

Where was he before? 31) And this is where I have to end it, for now, with another story, or maybe it’s a parallel. 32) Imagine it is sunset, and you’re sitting outside.

(Pic:

Free Image on Pixabay – Sunset, Cat, Shadows, SilhouettesDownload this free picture about Sunset Cat Shadows from Pixabay’s vast library of public domain images and videos.https://pixabay.com/photos/sunset-cat-shadows-silhouettes-3008779/)

33) God made the sun, and the sun is going down, and soon – if you are outside – you won’t be able to see very much. 34) There, in the darkness, it is scary.35) Imagine in the darkness there is a gang of robbers.

At first they look undifferentiated.

(Pic:

Free Image on Pixabay – Thieves, Theft, Robbery, SwagDownload this free picture about Thieves Theft Robbery from Pixabay’s vast library of public domain images and videos.https://pixabay.com/photos/thieves-theft-robbery-swag-money-2012532/)

36) And they are looting and rampaging all over the place.

(Pic:

Free Image on Pixabay – Flare-Up, Smoke, HumanDownload this free picture about Flare-Up Smoke Human Adult from Pixabay’s vast library of public domain images and videos.https://pixabay.com/photos/flare-up-smoke-human-adult-knight-3057241/)

37) At first you are completely petrified.
But then, if a lot of time goes by and the robbers take over, the world stays dark and God’s love seems like a far-off memory, you might have to make a friend among the robbers.

(Pic:

Free Image on Pixabay – Automatic, Kalashnikov, WeaponsDownload this free picture about Automatic Kalashnikov Weapons from Pixabay’s vast library of public domain images and videos.https://pixabay.com/photos/automatic-kalashnikov-weapons-war-4374398/)

38) Your conscience tells you that this is wrong.
But you live with it.

And when you have children, then don’t know anything else.39) When God called Avram, that is why He said: “Lech lecha” – “Go to yourself” – because you are currently cut off from your real, essential, spiritual nature. 40) I have to leave this here for now, because once again I am late for synagogue.

More to follow later, hopefully.

(End.) 

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.