Lekh L'kha The Journey begins
“The Lord said to Avram: go forth from your land, your birthplace and your family, to the land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and magnify your name, and you shall be a source of blessing. I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you, and all of the nations of the world shall be blessed on your account" (Genesis 12:1-3)
God told Abram to leave his native land and his father's house for a land that God would show him, promising to make of him a great nation, bless him, make his name great, bless those who blessed him, and curse those who cursed him. (Genesis 12:1-3) Following God's command, Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and the wealth they had acquired in Haran, and traveled to the Canaan. (Genesis 12:4-6) In the Midrash (stories that explain the Bible) it is said that when Abram was young, he realized that idol worship was foolish. To make his point, one day, when Abram was asked to watch the store on day for his father, after he was alone he took a hammer and smashed all the idols - except for the largest. Later, upon the return of his father, Terach, the father of Abram shouted. "What happened?!" "It was amazing, Dad," replied Abram. "The idols all got into a fight and the biggest idol won!" There was no way for his father could respond; deep down he knew that Abram had found a greater truth in Monotheism. Many are the hardships that await Avram and Sarai as they begin their trek westwards from Mesopotamia to Canaan, accompanied by Avram's nephew Lot. Upon reaching the Promised Land, they are almost immediately forced to vacate it, as Canaan is struck with famine. Descending to Egypt where sustenance is to be found, they experience their first of what will amount to numerous confrontations with mercurial and malicious monarchs. By God's grace, however, they emerge unscathed and return safely to Canaan, to resume their semi-nomadic but prosperous lives as shepherds. But trial upon trial await the two. Lot, the beloved nephew whom they had adopted, chooses to leave them, to establish his camp close to Sodom, only to be later taken captive by an alliance of four marauding eastern kings. Avram marshals his household and gives chase, unexpectedly routing the invading force and rescuing his nephew, who resumes his residency in sinful Sodom.