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    Leaving home – Lech L’cha

    Abraham's journey to Canaan, by József Molnár, 1850

    Is there a deeper meaning to the sequence of words used at the beginning of the sidra, where our patriarch is told, “Leave your country, your kindred and your father’s house” (Gen. 12:1)?

    There is a theory that is said to derive from the Zohar that the word molad’t’cha, which many versions translate “kindred”, actually denotes “your mother’s home”, from the root y-l-d which means to bear a child.

    If this is correct, Abram is being told to leave his country and the home of both his mother and father.

    Parting with one parent is hard: parting with both is unbearable. But what choice does a visionary have? If the Divine call draws him forward into a new destiny, he has no choice but to comply.

    When a child has to leave home, parents are tempted to hold him or her back. The wise parent, however, knows that a child has to be allowed to grow up even if it means leaving home. The parent has to do some parallel growing up too.

    Parents who yearn for their child to remain six for ever and ever, as in AA Milne’s poem “Now I am Six”, stunt their child’s growth and deprive the world of what the grown-up child might be able to contribute to civilisation.

    Parents have to be able to let their child grow, and go.

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