Parsha Lech Lecha: Go, get thee out

By Rabbi James Stone Goodman

At the end of his life

Abraham ascended to the top of the chariot of Ezekiel

it was covered with the dew of light.

Abraham dressed in hand-me-down celestial garments

saw the future –

a vision of reconciliation

from what was missing in his generation

he saw the implausible peace of his descendants.

Something partial missing broken

Chaser [Heb.]

in Abraham’s generation

that only the future could repair – [Zohar]

the children of Abraham

Isaac and Ishmael

and all the Isaacs and Ishmaels

of the future.

We are the Isaacs and Ishmaels of the future.

Go forth and make a path for your children

for everything that happened to you

will happen to your children. [Genesis Rabbah 40:6]

From atop Ezekiel’s chariot

Abraham saw and understood everything.

Just as Abraham left his father’s house

so all children leave their birth houses

Lech lecha [Genesis 12:1}

get thee out

out of your country

and away from your kindred

and away from your father’s house

to a land that I will show you –

in ascending order of difficulty.

We will have to leave our father’s house

to make peace

to step away from our comforts

and inherited prejudices

because we can.

Parshat Lech Lecha

Rabbi James Stone Goodman serves Congregation Neve Shalom and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association.

This d’var Torah was inadvertently omitted from the Nov. 2 edition. This week’s parsha, Vayeira, appears above.