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Abraham's Divine Mission
A Journey from Solitude to Multinational Legacy
Through Uniqueness and Circumcision
Lech Lecha - Genesis 12

'Go you forth from your country.' What does it mean, 'go you forth'? The Torah could have just said - go. However, in Hebrew and other languages, when you say 'go you forth,' the intention is for you to go alone, by yourself, without bringing others with you.

Who are the others that the Holy One, blessed be He, instructs Abraham not to take with him? The answer would seem to be all his followers, those called 'the souls they made in Haran.' Before God revealed Himself to him, Abraham established a religious community of people who believed uniquely in the monotheistic concept. And to Abraham, the temptation was to continue this work on the plane of the individual. But God wanted our forefather Abraham to rise to a higher level, to jump to a higher stage. God promises him: 'I will make you a great nation.' Meaning you also need to establish political and national entities. It would be best if you found a nation.

Why? One needs a nation of their own to rectify other nations and not just individuals. The mission of the People of Israel is a daring one. We want to fix the individual and the entire society organized as states, and Abraham took this upon himself. After it is written: 'And Abraham went as God had spoken to him,' the Torah says: 'And Abraham took Sarah, his wife and Lotted his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the souls they had made in Haran.' Our sages said that Abraham went out twice. Once, he needed to do this alone to fulfill the divine mission of establishing a nation. The second time, he intended to include everyone to continue his cosmopolitan idea of influencing every individual in the world.

So, Abraham, our forefather, realized two visions together. The vision of rectifying the individual and the vision of redressing the general. Because of this, Abraham transformed from Abram to Abraham. Abraham, meaning the father of many nations.

How can one be the father of many nations? Precisely by maintaining his uniqueness. Surprisingly, Abraham is informed that he is the father of many nations, specifically when he performs circumcision. Circumcision distinguished him physically and spiritually from the rest of the world. Thus, we can learn that if we genuinely want to influence the world, we must maintain uniqueness and particularity. Jewish particularity, preserving our self-identity, allows us to be the "father of many nations." This is in contrast to the temptation to think that the path of assimilation into the world's cultures will allow us to influence. The Torah reveals that returning to 'ourselves' brings a blessing to the entire world.

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פרשות נוספות

Integrating Personal and Communal Well-Being through Torah
[Nasso]

Parshat Nasso addresses individual and family issues while emphasizing the collective unity through the Priestly Blessing. This blessing, structured in three levels, reflects a balance between material and spiritual needs: "May HaShem bless you and watch over you." for wealth, "May HaShem cause His countenance to shine to you" for spiritual illumination through Torah, and "May HaShem lift up His countenance upon you and grant you peace" for the deep connection of Nefesh, Ruah, and Neshama. The Torah guides to integrate personal and communal well-being harmoniously.

Beyond the Count: Individual Worth and Collective Unity
[Bemidbar]

Parshat Bamidbar discusses the commandment to count the Israelites, focusing on those eligible for the army. This count underscores the tension between collective and individual identities. The Torah uses the expression "number of names," signifying the importance of both the collective and the individual. The Torah teaches that true unity blends these aspects, with the collective gaining meaning through each individual's uniqueness. This concept is reflected in the principle of "generalization and specification" in scriptural interpretation, with hidden meanings in the numbers, explored through the gematria.

Tears of Exile, Seeds of Hope: The Unbreakable Bond Between God and Israel
[Bechukotai]

Parashat Bechukotai discusses the covenant between God and Israel, emphasizing the importance of repentance for redemption. The Talmudic debate between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua delves into whether redemption is contingent on teshuva. Rashi's commentary interprets the ambiguous term "או" to support both views. This dual perspective highlights the Torah's open interpretation, showing that redemption can depend on human repentance or divine promise, reflecting a complex interplay of conditions in Judaism's understanding of historical progress.

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