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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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