Saturday, September 15, 2012

Elul 28

As we draw near to the end of Elul, I want to thank Rabbi Bradley G. Levenberg of Temple Sinai in Atlanta; Rabbi Eric Linder of Congregation Children of Israel in Athens, GA; and Rabbi Jason NEvarez of Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners, NY for helping to make these Elul Thoughts possible.  Collaborating with good friends and respected colleagues is one of the many things that brings me into 5773 with joy.

The first thing that God says to Avram (Abraham) is: Lech L’cha. - Go forth.

This injunction is one of the central essences of Judaism.

By heeding this command, Abraham merits becoming the first of our avot, our ancestors. He demonstrates a willing to go into an unknown future, leaving the comforts of the past behind.

Each of us must heed this command for ourselves. But we have an advantage over Abraham; we have a community of fellow journeyers to walk with.

Biblical Hebrew is interesting. The imperative Lech L’cha can certainly mean: Hey you, GO! This is how we typically interpret the verse; God tells Abraham to start a very long journey … a journey that will lead to a promised land of milk and honey at a place that is far, far away.

But, there is another possible meaning of the command. The two words can also imply: Go Towards Yourself!!

At the close of this Elul, let us all heed the command that started the peoplehood of Israel: Lech L’cha. Our journeys will continue taking us toward the best parts of ourselves.

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