Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 12, v. 1: "Lech l'cho" - Go to yourself. The source of every ben Yisroel's soul is bound up with Eretz Yisroel. Everyone who goes there comes back to himself. (Kli Chemdoh)

Rashi comments that "l'cho" connotes that it would be for Avrohom's benefit. Avrohom, the paradigm of the mitzvoh of receiving guests, by himself experiencing the trials and tribulations of a wanderer, would now be able to serve the needs of travelers much better. (Admor Rabbi Avrohom of Tchechinov in Z'chusa d'Avrohom)

Ch. 12, v. 1: "Lech l'cho mei'artz'cho umimolad't'cho" - Go away from "l'cho," pursuing your personal interests. (Admor Rabbi Dovid of Lelov) As well, go away from "artz'cho," your earthy coarseness. (Nirreh li) Also, go away from "molad't'cho," your negative traits with which you were born. (Rabbi Yitzchok of Nesh'chiz in Toldos Yitzchok)

Ch. 12, v. 3: "V'niv'r'chu v'cho" - And the nations of the world will come to join your nation (from the translation "l'havriach, to graft). (Admor Rabbi Yaakov of Ishbitze in Beis Yaakov)

Ch. 12, v. 4: "Va'yeilech Avrom kaasher di'ber eilov Hashem" - We may safely assume that it took Avrohom a while to assemble his possessions and to prepare for his trip. Nevertheless, when he finally began his trip, "va'yeilech," it was with the same level of excitement as when he heard the command from Hashem, "kaasher di'ber eilov Hashem."

Alternatively, although Avrohom was promised that undertaking this trip would bring about great benefit for himself, nevertheless, he did it only to comply with Hashem's wish. (Chidushei hoRi"m)

Ch. 12, v. 5: "V'es ha'nefesh asher ossu" - Avrohom's success in bringing souls close to Hashem was through "asher ossu," bringing people to mitzvoh action, not just teaching them theological ideology. (Admor of Kotzk)

Ch. 13, v. 2: "V'Avrom ko'veid m'ode bamikneh ba'kesef uvazohov" - Owning so many possessions was a BURDEN for Avrohom. (Admor Rabbi Mordechai Yoseif of Ishbitze in Mei Hashilo'ach)

Ch. 13, v. 16: "V'samti es zaracho kaafar ho'oretz" - I will correspond the size of Eretz Yisroel with the number of your descendants. I will expand or contract the land to allow for all your descendants to have place to live in the Holy Land. (Ponim Yofos)

Ch. 14, v. 23: "Im michut v'ad sroch naal .. v'lo somar ani he'esharti es Avrom" - A person can give someone else a pittance, a thread or a shoe lace, and still talk himself into believing that he was the source of the other person's financial success. (M'oroh Shel Torah)

Ch. 16, v. 11: "V'koros shmo Yishmo'eil ki shoma Hashem" - Since Hashem HAS HEARD why isn't his name Shoma'eil? This alludes to the future. At the end of days the descendants of Yishmo'eil will cause the bnei Yisroel much anguish, causing the bnei Yisroel to pray to Hashem. Incorporated in the name Yishmo'eil is the promise that Hashem WILL HEAR our prayers and save us from his evil machinations. (Rabbi Chaim Vi'tal in Eitz Hadaas Tov on T'hilim #124)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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