Lech Lecha 2005

The Parsha begins this week with Hashem’s instruction to Abraham Lech Lecha – “Go for yourself.” This was the next challenge of Abraham to leave his family and country, and to go to the land of Israel. Hashem promised Abraham Lech Lecha - go for yourself. This indicates that Abraham would have some benefit from going to the land of Israel. Indeed, Rashi explains to us that Abraham promised that He would give him children, fame, and wealth if he would go to Israel. At first glance this seems puzzling. What was the test to Abraham if he was being promised so much reward for listening to Hashem?

Rav Moshe Feinstien explains that the challenge was in the response of Abraham. Abraham could have said “Why need I travel so far away to receive this blessing? Indeed, Hashem could bestow the blessing on me right here! The fact that he accepted Hashem’s decree and went to Israel showed his loyalty and dedication to follow the instructions of Hashem. I once heard another detail added to this thought. Why did Hashem mention the fact that Abraham will have any benefit whatsoever from this test? Wouldn’t Abraham have to listen to Hashem’s instructions even if there was no benefit to him?

The lesson we see here is very basic to our approach to observance. True, ultimately we must observe the Torah simply because that is what Hashem has told us to do. However, there is a benefit from trying to see the benefits of a Torah style, to enable us to keep all the commandments better. If we make a Shabbos meal with the family, let’s appreciate that benefit of Shabbos – that the family gets to spend time together, one relates closely to Hashem,…This can be done with every commandment, as we find the positive and beneficial effects of the Commandments.