<I>Lech Lecha</I>: Seeing Things God's Way

What distinguished Avraham from all the other migrants of his time was that "Avram went as God commanded him," infused with the Divine will, enthused by the prospect of seeing what God wished to show him.

Aloh Naaleh,

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Arutz 7
"Go... to the land which I will show you (el ha'aretz asher ar'echa)." This means, see the land the way God wants you to see it, view it from His perspective.

"And they set out to go to the land of Canaan, and they came to the land of Canaan." This equates the departure with the arrival: just as they knew what they were leaving, so, too, they knew what they were coming to (Chibah Yeterah).

Canaan was not an unknown country in Avraham's day. The cities of the Jordan plain paid tribute to Kedorla'omer and the other kings long before Avraham arrived. The matter-of-fact statement, "...and they set out to go to the land of Canaan, and they came to the land of Canaan," indicates that there was nothing remarkable about the journey.

What distinguished Avraham from all the other migrants of his time was that "Avram went as God commanded him," infused with the Divine will, enthused by the prospect of seeing what God wished to show him.

Similarly, as explained in parashat Ki Tavo, the pilgrim who brought bikkurim had to make two separate statements. The first: "I have come to the country that God swore to our fathers to give us." And the second: "God brought us here, and gave us this country flowing with milk and honey." When recounting God's goodness in the second statement, the pilgrim mentioned milk and honey. But when speaking about himself in the first statement, he mentioned only "the country that God swore to our fathers." He wasn't motivated by milk and honey, but by the desire to receive what God had promised.

People come on Aliyah for many reasons. Is God's will foremost among them?
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Rabbi Henkin of Jerusalem came on Aliyah in 1970. He is the author of four volumes of responsa, B'nei Bonim, and a number of works in English.

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.



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