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    You can’t stay put! – Lech L’cha

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

    In Parashat Lech L’cha, Abraham is told to leave his homeland and go off to a vague destination which will only be revealed later (Gen. 12:1).

    A question: why can’t Abraham stay home in familiar surroundings? Why does he have to embark on an expedition?

    The only way Abraham will find spiritual satisfaction is by embarking on a journey. Pursuing a dream does not go with staying put. An old familiar locale lacks excitement and challenge. A new land, on the other hand, will get him out of a rut and suggest a new challenge, a new opportunity.

    The Midrash B’reshit Rabbah says in the name of Rabbi Levi, When Abraham looked around him at his neighbours in his long-established place of residence, he sadly said, “All I see here is eating and drinking and materialism!”

    When he reached the destination to which God had led him, he was excited and inspired and said, “This is the place for me!” The land he now settled in was Eretz Yisra’el.

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