From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/lech-lcha
Lech L’cha (לָךְ-לְךָ – Go Forth) – Genesis 12:1-17:27
The Eternal said to Abram, “Go forth from your land, your birthplace, your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1
- Abram, Sarai, and Lot go to Canaan. (12:1-9)
- Famine takes them to Egypt, where Abram identifies Sarai as his sister in order to save his life. (12:10-20)
- Abram and Lot separate. Lot is taken captive, and Abram rescues him. (13:1-14:24)
- Abram has a son, Ishmael, with his Egyptian maidservant, Hagar. (16:1-16)
- God establishes a covenant with Abram. The sign of this covenant is circumcision on the eighth day following a male baby’s birth. (17:1-27)
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lech-Lecha
Some commentators, including Rashi, interpret the verses in Isaiah 41:1–4 as referring to the Battle of Siddim described in this parshah. Rashi interprets subsequent verses as referring to either the nations’ reactions to this battle or the interaction between Abraham and Melchizedek, leading into God’s promise to always aid “the seed of Abraham, who loved Me.”
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lech-Lecha
Lech-Lecha – Gen. 16:1-17:27 [triennial part]
(לֶךְ-לְךָ — Hebrew for “go!” or “leave!”, literally “go for you”.)
The [complete] parashah tells the stories of God’s calling of Abram (who would become Abraham), Abram’s passing off his wife Sarai as his sister, Abram’s dividing the land with his nephew Lot, the war between the four kings and the five, the covenant between the [sacrificial] pieces, Sarai’s tensions with her maid Hagar and Hagar’s son Ishmael, and the covenant of circumcision (בְּרִית מִילָה, brit milah).
The triennial part of Parasha Lech-Lecha – Gen. 16:1-17:27, tells of Hagar and Ishmael in the first section. In the second section it recounts the covenant with 99-year-old Abram whose name is changed to Abraham (father of multitudes), and circumcision. Sarai, who is approximately 89, is renamed Sarah (princess), and her giving birth to Isaac (from “laugh”) is foretold.
REFLECTION – sections taken from last year’s message
At the Temple Sinai Tuesday Morning Minyan this week, the darshan (דַּרְשָׁן or דַּרְשָׁנִית – Hebrew for “deliverer of the d’rash”) quoted Rashi who translated Lech-Lecha as “go for you!” Rashi interpreted it to mean, “go for your own enjoyment and own good.” The darshan advised, “don’t get stuck. Embrace the unknown. The journey is what matters, enjoy it!”
The Torah has very few details about Abram (now called Abraham Avínu, our father Abraham). The Mishna and various commentators have much more to say about him, his character and why God chose him. Abram is described as highly intelligent, kind, asked questions, looked for more logical explanations, and willing to argue with God. Several midrashim (commentaries) are relayed about him including Abram destroying his father Terach’s idols for sale and a subsequent trial by fire ordered by King Nimrod.
There is a Sefardic song in Judeo-Spanish titled “Kuando El Rey Nimrod” (When King Nimrod) which relates Abram’s birth and some of the legends about him found in the Mishna, Midrashim and other sources. Based on the melody, it was most likely composed in the 18th Century by an anonymous author(s) in the former Ottoman Empire. The song is often sung at a B’rit Milah (בְּרִית מִילָה – Hebrew for “covenant of circumcision”) and is a popular piece among singers of songs in Ladino.
A word about circumcision from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brit_milah In the mid-2nd century [CE], Rabbinical Jewish leaders, the successors of the newly ideologically dominant Pharisees, introduced and made mandatory a radical method of circumcision known as the Brit Periah. Without it, circumcision was newly declared to have no spiritual value. This new form [was far more extensive than previously practiced since second temple times, which simply involved a nick or cut to the foreskin.] It was intended to make it almost impossible to restore the foreskin. This is the form practiced among the large majority of Jews today, and, later, became the basis for the routine neonatal circumcisions performed in the United States and other countries.
From Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, the 10th through the 16th of Cheshvan, we lovingly remember:
Brother of TKH member Mary Caron
Arianna Rose Battelle
Niece of Lori Battelle
Assassinated Israeli Prime Minister
Ellen Wiener Horczak-Winslow
Relative of Keren Ginsburg
Robert E. Levine
Father of Lisa and Joe Levine
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
Al sh’loshah d’varim ha’olam omëd – The world is sustained by three things: Torah, worship and loving deeds. We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this Friday evening, October 15, 2021.
Zoom continues being updated for security and performance features. In some cases, there are extra steps to go through in order to join a meeting. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this Friday evening:
Topic: Torah Study – Triennial reading Genesis 16:1-17:27
Time: Oct 15, 2021 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Oct 15, 2021 07:30 PM Arizona
To join the Torah Study and/or Shazoom Meeting click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]:
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat,