• Home
  • Parashah
  • Ask the Rabbi
  • Festivals
  • Freemasonry
  • Articles
  • About
  • Books
  • Media

    Migrating & moving – Lech L’cha

    The sidra begins with God telling Abram to up and go, leaving Ur of the Chaldees and migrating elsewhere to a place God would show him (Gen. 12:1).

    Migration is one of the most noticeable human phenomena. Migration movements brought millions of people to the United States, for example, at the cusp of the 19th/20th century.

    Jews are not the only ones to have moved countries, though Jews have often migrated to escape persecution or to find new opportunities. There is a whole literature about Jewish and general migration, e.g. Arieh Tartakower‘s “In Search of Home and Freedom” (London, 1958).

    There have been times when Jews could have escaped tragedy if they had moved, for instance in the 1930s when many of European Jewry could have saved themselves by making Aliyah. However, some of their leaders told them not to go, fearing that Zionism would deplete European communities and weaken Judaism. Lord Jakobovits analysed the problem in his B’nai B’rith International Lecture, “Religious Responses to the Holocaust” (London, 1988).

    Had they heeded the sidra and rejected the advice of anti-Zionist leaders, some of the six million martyrs of the Holocaust might have been saved.

    Rashi emphasises that moving at God’s command would bring benefit in the long run.

    Comments are closed.