Parshat Lech Lecha
In this week’s Torah portion, parashat Lech Lecha we are introduced to Abraham, the father of the Jewish People. Abraham is the trailblazer, the knight of faith, who introduces the idea of Ethical Monotheism. The belief that there is only one God who demands an elevated ethical standard for humanity.
Lech Lecha Summary
- Avram leaves home
- The Famine
- The argument between the shepherds
- Brit Bein Habetarim
- Avram and Hagar
- Brit Milah
What Is The Meaning of the Blessing So Shall Be Your Offspring?
In Parshat Lech Lecha, Hashem promises Abraham that he will have children who will be as many as the stars in the sky. Hashem takes Abraham outside and asks him to count the stars. “So shall be your children. “says Hashem.
What is the meaning behind this phrase so shall be your offspring? According to many commentators, it means that although they appear small, stars are in fact enormous and it is only because they are far away that they appear small.
So too, although we are small in number, only 14 million in a world population of over 7 Billion we will be influential in ways far beyond our numbers.
All you have to do is Google Jewish Nobel prize winners, doctors, and leaders in all areas to realize the incredible contribution of the Jewish People.
Not The Jewish Way
A second explanation is that when Abraham heard the command of Hashem to count to stars he started the count, one, two, three. “So shall be your offspring.” Abraham never backed down.
Conventional wisdom may say to us that it is impossible to count the stars why bother? That is not the Jewish way. We make the impossible possible, the dream a reality.
Conventional wisdom said that it would be impossible to create a state in a malaria swampland, with arid conditions and poor rainfall. But we did. There is no way that the land can absorb millions of people. At every step of the way, the attitude of Abraham of counting the stars has been on display.
The Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman – known as the Ramban, taught the following principle, מעשה אבות סימן לבנים the actions of the fathers are signs for the children.
When we read the Parshiyot of Bereishit, we are not only studying the Genesis of our People, we are also seeing the DNA that is in every Jew. There is a little Avraham in all of us.