<i>Noach</I> to <I>Lech Lecha</I>: Aliyah or Expedience

Eretz Yisrael is a land of challenges.

Aloh Naaleh,

Arutz 7
The end of this week's parsha lists the ten generations that span the period from Noach to Avraham. The Torah records that Terach had three sons: Avram, Nachor and Haran. Haran dies in Ur-Kasdeem, and then Terach moves with his family, including Avram, Avram's wife Sarai, and Lot the son of the deceased Haran (maybe also Nachor and his wife Milca).

They leave Ur-Kasdeem to go to the land of Canaan, but they reach Charan (maybe so named in memory of Haran?) and they settle there. Terach dies many years later in Charan, at the age of 205.

Next week, we will read that HaShem instructed Avram to depart from his father's home, to go to the Promised Land. Avram thereupon took Sarai and Lot, left Charan to travel to the Land of Canaan. He arrived there and thus commenced the history of the Jewish People in Eretz Yisrael.

What does all this add up to? Terach intended to go to Canaan, but reaches only as far as Charan. It is Avram who completes the journey. Canaan-Eretz Yisrael is a land of challenges, trials and tribulations: ten for Avraham (Pirkei Avot ch. 5) and many more for us, his descendants.

Aliyah is not primarily a matter of personal convenience; it is an act of faith in HaShem. Terach's journey was a matter of expedience and Charan was probably a convenient place to settle. But Avraham's journey was a Divine mission to a land of promise and faith, a journey that bears significance for his descendants forever.

How fortunate for us that HaShem preserved the original Aliyah for Avraham!
Prof. Bodenheimer was born in Cambridge, England in 1941 and emigrated to Israel with his family in 1950. He grew up in Israel, served in the IDF, studied Torah at Kol Torah and Mercaz Harav, and physics at Hebrew University, specializing in electro-optics. He is the President of JCT (Machon Lev) and father of eight.

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.