Lech lecha

After twenty generations the Lord had tested his patience enough to go to the next phase in the history of humankind. Twenty generations of non-Jews had proven to not acknowledge G-d’s existence leave alone to be willing to obey His rules for life. And so He creates something new: a people of His own choice. The Lord sets high standards, establishes high morals and ethics and He nourishes and protects His people as His costly treasure. The name of His new people will be revealed after two more generations.

Avraham is born as twentieth generation, his grandson Ya’akov is the twenty second generation and He is going to be called Israel. G-d shows Himself to be Jewish, in language, in thought, in humor and in Protectia, favoring those who know and honor Him. Whoever follows Avraham’s faith and obedience and becomes soul mate of Israel when not born in a Jewish home, will be part of this divine line of high standard, high morals and ethics. Language, thought and humor will slowly adapt to G-d’s level, which He put into Israel’s soul.

Almost two thousand years had gone by since His creation and horror and godlessness had become and continued to be the normal agenda. Avraham is born in the year 1948 after the creation had taken place. A godly man appears on the stage of humankind. Nothing is more important for the Bible account than this man and his family and offspring. The rest of humankind has not been recorded. Avraham is the man who understands and proclaims monotheism, the concept of G-d being One. This is the divine message he is going to teach. And his message exists until today, in the synagogues and in Messianic Judaism.

The importance of Torah cannot be esteemed enough. It was with Torah that the Lord created the heavens and the earth. It is Torah which should guide every person to live the life the Lord intends for everyone. But from Avraham on only Jews, the people of Israel and our soul mates went for this divine present from heaven. At this moment, in 2008, still only Jewish people understand and appreciate the value of Torah. and with our soul mates we apply Torah and honor each other and the Lord through it.

The sidra of this week is called: Lech Lecha. This means: Go for yourself. We need to see the importance of this concept. The basis of our happiness is that we go for ourselves, guided directly by the Lord, motivated by Him, doing it because we see our value and because we honor who we are as the person G-d is building, changing and perfecting. We do not go because we do it out of fear or anger towards our parents. We do not do what we do to please anybody else than the Lord in the first place. We do what we do to better ourselves, to honor G-d and to please those who respect us.

Go for yourself. To grow into independence of emotional manipulation and guilt games by others, to become independent of the condemnations and flirty compliments of others helps to Go for ourselves. We will never be able to become healthy wise servants of the Lord if we do not learn to Go for ourselves. Literally: to go toward our self which the Lord has already made. Compare Paul in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 24: the new self which G-d has already created for you.

The land which G-d gives to Avraham, the prohibition not to mingle with the population’s belief system, the blessing and the source of blessing for the world population, all this is the basis for the priesthood which Israel has become for the world. For those who recognize it of course. And wherever Avraham puts his feet, the land is his. When he divides the land with his nephew Lot, and Lot gets the honor of choosing first, it is Avraham who ends up with the best part. As soon as we start living according to G-d’s will, wherever we go we will succeed.

As soon as we trust the Lord (Bitachon) after we believe in Him (Emunah) our trusting Him He will count as our righteousness (15:6). Not our deeds, not our holy words, but our trust in G-d which takes place deeply in our innermost being is what counts. Part of our obedience is what the Lord requires from Avraham: circumcision. It is the sign of the bond and the relationship of the Jewish people and our soul mates with G-d, both as people and individually. Refusal to circumcise or being circumcises means diminishing your willingness to show the Lord that you are in the restoration process which eventually will lead to reentry into Gan Eden. Go, you owe it to yourself.

Shabbat shalom,
Lion S. Erwteman, Rosh Kehilla of Beth Yeshua
Amsterdam, Holland.