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    A Great Nation – Lech L’cha

    Genesis 12:2, the beginning of the parashah, promises that God will make us a great nation.

    “Great” can have many meanings. It cannot denote great in numbers, since the Torah itself says that Israel will be one of the smaller nations on earth.

    “Great” cannot indicate fame or status, as if we had the right to advertise and show off our prestige, power and significance: that would be mere exhibitionism.

    The best interpretation of the adjective great is ethical – a nation that strives for moral quality and ethical excellence.

    Is this really true of the land or people of Israel?

    Maybe not (yet) – but we have a vision, a conscience, a dream, and we constantly do our best to be worthy of it.

    Edmond Fleg wrote a book titled “The Land where God Dwells”, and that title encapsulates our greatness as the land where the people endeavour to live an upright life that accords with the Divine ethical call.

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