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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Lekh Lekha

Avraham the Weaver

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on November 10, 2016

  I have recently begun learning Midrash Tanchuma weekly with Rabbi Avi Weiss, and this week, I share some reflections on the two opening passages of Midrash Tanhuma to parashat Lekh Lekha.   In the middle of the first passage, the Midrash portrays a classic rabbinic image of Avraham as a devout Jew who kept every detail of the halakha: We find with Avraham, that he was punctilious in observing the mitzvot and therefore he was called the beloved of God, as it is written, “The seed of Avraham my beloved.”… Even eruv tavshilin was observed in the household of Avraham our father… God said to him, “You are punctilious regarding my mitzvot and you are sitting among the idolaters?! …

How Far Can The Apple Land From The Tree?

by Rabbi Haggai ResnikoffPosted on September 7, 2016

The principle of מעשה אבות סימן לבנים most famously propounded by the Ramban has relevance to us as parents and potential parents. Rather than seeing Avraham’s travels as a supernatural oracle for his children, I see the resemblance between Avraham’s life and the history of Israel as an example of the inevitability of parental modeling.…

Our God and the God of Our Forefathers

by Rabbi Nathaniel HelfgotPosted on May 25, 2016

At the opening of our parsha, Abraham, our founding father, leaves his homeland and birthplace on the journey towards finding the promised land. In truth, however, this is not the first journey that the Torah has presented to us in relation to Abraham and his father.…

The Importance of the Planters of the Seeds of Greatness

by Rabbi Avi WeissPosted on May 21, 2016

November 4-5, 2011/ 8 Cheshvan 5772 Terah, Avraham’s (Abraham) father, is often viewed as an evil man and nothing more than an idol worshipper. A review of the text indicates otherwise. First of all, Terah’s son, Haran, dies during Terah’s lifetime.…

Wanted: Partners, Not Followers

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 21, 2015

Avraham and Noach stand in stark contrast to one another. Noach was a follower. He did what he was told, exactly what he was told, no more and no less. He was told to build an ark, “and Noach did all that God had commanded him” (Bereishit, 6:22).…

Why Avraham?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 30, 2014

Why was Avraham chosen? The Torah doesn’t say. Without preamble, God commands Avraham and sends him on his mission. “And the Lord said to Avraham, lekh lekha, get yourself out… and go to the land that I will show you” (Breishit, 12:1).…

Hearing the Call of Lekh Lekha

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 11, 2013

The following is the parsha thought that Rabbi Linzer shared at the installation of Rabbi Asher Lopatin this last Sunday. Why Avraham? We know why God chooses Noach.  God even tells him why: “for you I have seen righteous before me in this generation.” But why does God choose Avraham? …

What is Your Calling?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 26, 2012

Why did God choose Avraham? In parashat Noach, we read: “And Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generations; with God did Noach walk (6:9).  It is only after introducing Noach’s greatness that the Torah tell us that God spoke to Noach and chose him to be saved from the flood.…

Chosenness with a Universalist Impulse, Universalism with a Focus on Family

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on November 4, 2011

After two failed attempts at directing humanity to a life of holiness and goodness, God, in Lekh Lekha, begins the grand experiment that will be the narrative of the entire Torah and the story of the People of Israel.   With the generations of Adam, God stepped back to see if human beings, having chosen to “know good and evil,” to think and choose for themselves, could choose for themselves a life of holiness. …

“Walk with Me and become perfect” – Being Perfect or Becoming Perfect?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 15, 2010

Avraham bursts onto the scene in the opening of Parshat Lekh Lekha.  He follows God’s command, goes to the Land of Canaan, and everywhere is calling out in the name of God, and bringing monotheism to the world. Late in the parsha, God appears to Avraham and commands him in the brit milah. …

“And he believed in God” – Faith in God or Faith in Miracles?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on October 30, 2009

We are told that Avraham was given 10 tests and withstood all of them. There is no doubt that in Lekh Lekha Avraham has many trials, but it is somewhat of a question of whether he withstood them all or not.…