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Our Personal and National Jewish journeys - Parshat Lech Lecha

03/11/2022 09:13:40 AM


In this week's Torah portion, Lech Lecha,  Abraham and Sarah begin a personal and national Jewish journey. On a micro level, they begin to establish a new belief system in which they will attract others under their canopy of faith, and they begin to raise their own family. On a macro level, their journey is the start of four thousand years of Jewish history and heritage. Their journey will be anything but simple. They face one test after another along the way.

Now, four thousand years later, we Jews today continue their journey as our own on personal and national levels. Ona micro level, every Jewish person and family face the challenge of preserving one's identity amidst a growing anti-Semitism. In addition, we face the challenge of ensuring our children's and grandchildren's commitment to Judaism amidst the forces of assimilation.

On a macro level, the Jewish historical journey has been anything but simple. Wherever Jewish communities have resided, they have faced oppression from local government and citizenry. Even in Israel, we were dispersed from our land for almost two thousand years until the middle of the twentieth century. Even while being sovereign in our homeland, our people have faced one challenge after another.

As we enter the new months of Cheshvan and November, the tests of our national journey have been made even more intense by the anniversary of the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin, z"l, on November 5 and the anniversary of Kristallnacht on November 9-10. In one, a fellow Jew murdered his Israeli Prime-Minister at a rally on a Saturday night in Tel Aviv. In the other, Jewish homes, shops, and synagogues were smashed and destroyed, opening the path to the destruction of six million Jewish lives in under a decade.

There is much to be grateful for as we read the origins of our ancestral journey in this week's Parsha, and there is much to be concerned about as well.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Howard Morrison

Sat, 22 June 2024 16 Sivan 5784