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The Rebbe on Lech Licha – (5750) Quotes

  1. The first command in the Torah, to the first Jew Abraham is “Go from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.”
  2. Seemingly the first command to a Jew should have been, not about travel plans, but how to serve God?!
  3. Hence we must say that this command forms the fundamental approach.
  4. The basis of the Jew / Judaism, and reality, is, that God chose a people to be able to – despite human tendency to ape (copy) one another – rise beyond, through the commitment to God (Torah and Mitzvos – For using a higher power, one has higher powers) – furthermore through this, to bring light to the world, transforming that others can likewise.
  5. This power was bequeathed to the Jew, at the giving of the Torah.
  6. This process began with God’s command, “Go from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.”

    6.a “Land,” “Birthplace” and “Fathers House” are the three primary molders of an individual’s reality:

    6.b  “Land” refers to our natural inborn tendencies.
    6.c   “Birthplace” refers to the customs, habits, mentality of the country (city) one is born in.
    6.d   “Father’s House,” this refers, both to one’s primary education, literally in one’s father’s house (which is stronger than the country’s mentality) as well, as how one self-educates.

    6.e  “Land,” “Birthplace” and “Fathers House” are more specifically (not necessarily from outside, but) internally influenced.

    6.f  “Land” refers to your (innate) desires.
    6.g  “Birthplace” refers to the emotions that are born though contemplation (things you think you should do.)
    6.h  “Father’s House” refers to your intellect.

  7. The command to “Go” – Leave your inborn tendencies, your emotions (and the influences from your locale) and your mind (father’s house) – this is step 1.
  8. The goal of this journey is “To go to the land that I will show you” – to follow God.
  9. The goal is to leave all of your preconceived desires, thoughts and even spiritual ideals, to – with complete self-sacrifice, follow wherever, whenever, what God shows you to do.
  10. Now we understand, why God didn’t tell him where he was going – for the goal here is not the destination, rather that the mechanism of, journeying in life with – and unifying with – God; is through the ability to leave your preconceived ideas, and following “Go.”
  11. Now we understand why specifically afterward does God appear to Abraham – for through giving Himself entirely to God (though, before he was serving God – albeit through his personal understanding, hence limited) now he was capable of Receiving God.
  12. Now we understand why in addition to Avrohom going, he took with him, his wife, his household, his possessions, and all the myriads of people that were attracted/attached to him – for true elevation, is not that you go up – rather you bring everyone – until the very land, becomes a Holy land.
  13. To the extent that Avrohom Avinue achieved that, not only did he teach the world about God (he opened a free hotel etc.) but furthermore, he taught how God and reality are a single entity.
  14. The true mission of “Go” for God; is when we influence everyone.
  15. We see this in the fact, that though Lot (his nephew) was wicked, nonetheless he greatly elevated him.
  16. This elevation was to the extent that Lot literally offered his life, for the Mitzvah of hosting guests.
  17. Hence the command to Avraham to “Go,” introduced a new dimension; namely, serving God, not based on human, but Divine standards.
  18. Therefore the mission is given – empowerment – specifically from Matan Torah, to every Jew, that no matter how lofty – as it truly is – his/her soul, his ideas, and behaviors, one can have humility, sacrifice, and desire to “Go” from “who you are,” to be one with God (by fulfilling his will.)
  19. This is why subsequent “Go”ing to Israel, Avraham was able to have the Mitzvah of Mila, whereby the spiritual was able to permeate.
  20. When we act in the “Go” manner, God becomes our partner.
  21. We now understand the sequence of Noach, Lech-Licha and Vayeira: Noach is when the world achieves a level of permanence – Lech-Licha is the idea that we must go beyond worldly mentality, and elevate the world until we achieve the level of Vayiera, that God appears.
  22. This is also the reason, we read Lech Licha as the new year begins (particularly following the festivals, when we are entering into our Avodah / Service of the year) for our task is to “Go,” follow God.
  23. This is in keeping with the saying of the Tzemach Tzeddek, “Make your locale Eretz Yisroel” – transforming what could be mundane to meaning, physical spiritual, meaningless, purpose.
  24. Furthermore a person must be cognizant, that no matter what mountain one has peaked, they must continually ascend.
  25. Two practical directives: a. we should gather on Shabbos, ideally every community, learning something similar, especially in Chassidus (many Torah thoughts / vorts, are written by the Tzemach Tzeddek on many verses – especially the beginning and end of each Torah portion, which is extra special.) b. We should encourage the giving of Tzedakah – the heads of all schools and business should distribute to their students (we should spread this message which will be welcomed) and employees.

May it be God’s will, through all of the above, especially implementing and resolving (for God sees the heart, so it can be “considered as good as done”) the practical directives – God will take us immediately to the complete and final, ultimate redemption in Israel.

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