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By November 7, 2019 Read More →

Shabbat Lech-Lecha: Parsha, Times and Happenings

Times:

In at 4.09; out at 5.22.

Events:

Nitzanim – shiur after mincha at 4.10.

Ramban – shiur at 4.35.

ELC, 64 Emek Refaim-

8:00 am – Rabbi Azarya Berzon
8:45 am – Shacharit
10:30 am – Children’s Service with Ronnit Goldfai

Shir Chadash – on Emek Refaim 43 (9.15 davening) and Yaakov Rubin Street #1 (8.45 – davening) followed by kiddushim.

Eretz Chemdah – 2 Bruriya, Pre Shacharit shiur this week at 8am.

Daf Hayomi– shiur at Katamon Shteiblech, hour before Shabbat goes out.

Parsha from Rav Alex Israel & Brendan Stern

Rav Alex:

“Usually, exile is understood as a sequence, an abnormal phase following upon a normal one. Galut, ‎the specifically Jewish form of exile, is rather different: it does not follow; it is at the beginning. ‎

Jewish History begins with God’s words to Avraham: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy ‎kindred and from thy father’s house to the land that I will show thee. The history of Judaism ‎commences with Galut. If exile is at the very start then there must be something in the nature of ‎Judaism, in God’s plan for the Jewish people, which is inseparable from it. Avraham, in order to ‎become the patriarch of Israel, had to leave his father’s house and the land of his birth. He embraced ‎his destiny in a world which was alien to him, to his faith, to his values, to his truth. He went into ‎exile, because in the world as it existed then, Avraham could not find a home. He had the choice: ‎either to be true to himself and become a wanderer, or to become one with his surroundings and ‎remain at home. He chose himself, his personal destiny; but in order to do that he had to go into exile.‎

‎… What is the significance of Galut as a starting point? One might generalize and say : There are ‎certain ideals that are not easily absorbed by the order of the world; there are certain values that are ‎repulsed by the laws of power history; ideas and values that are strangers among man and are of ‎tragic necessity forced into exile. Such a stranger in history is the idea represented by the Jewish ‎people in the history of mankind…As Avraham did not fit into the local world of his birthplace , so do ‎his children not fit into the universal world of the nations to the extent that it is dominated by ‎materialistic self interest and ambitions of power.”‎ (Rabbi Eliezer Berkovitz. Faith after the Holocaust pp. 122-123)

Brendan Stern:

Lech Lecha – Tuned In

“Hashem said to Avram, “Go forth from your land … to the land that I will show you.” (Bereishit 12:1)

In contrast to Noach who was introduced in last week’s parsha in glowing description as a “righteous man … perfect in his generations, Noach walked with God” (Ibid. 6:9), Avraham is introduced to us simply with the command to head to Eretz Yisrael. Avraham seems to be short-changed!

Why are there are no adjectives used to describe Avraham’s greatness?

Chazal (Taanit 21a) relate that Rabbi Yochanan and Ilfa were learning in yeshiva and were very poor. They decided it was time to return home to earn a living. On their way, they stopped near a rickety wall. While they were there, Rabbi Yochanan heard an angel say “the walls should collapse on these individuals, since they are abandoning eternal life for temporal life”. Another angel responded that they couldn’t do so because one of the two was destined for greatness in Torah. Rabbi Yochanan asked Ilfa if he had heard the angels’ dialogue. Ilfa responded in the negative. Rabbi Yochanan understood that since he heard the dialogue, they must have been referring to him! He immediately decided to return to yeshiva and eventually became a Torah giant.

Rav Sholom Rosner explains that both Ilfa and Rabbi Yochanan had the potential to hear the angels’ voices, but only Rabbi Yochanan was tuned in to the divine frequency. So often in life there is a heavenly voice speaking to us but we too need to be tuned in to hear the message!

Thus, Says Rav Rosner, the Torah does indeed give Avraham the greatest introduction, namely that he was someone tuned in who heard Hashem’s voice and acted upon it without hesitation! We too need to “tune in” to hear the call!

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