Published Date: October 11, 2018
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Lech-Lecha Genesis 12:1 – 17:27, God speaks to Abram, commanding him, “Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.” There, God says, he will be made into a great nation. Abram and his wife, Sarai, accompanied by his nephew Lot, journey to the land of Canaan, where Abram builds an altar and continues to spread the message of a one God.
A famine forces the first Jew to depart for Egypt, where beautiful Sarai is taken to Pharaoh’s palace; Abram escapes death because they present themselves as brother and sister. A plague prevents the Egyptian king from touching her, and convinces him to return her to Abram and to compensate the brother-revealed-as-husband with gold, silver and cattle.
In this week’s Haftara Prophets reading Isaiah 40:27 – 41:16, discusses Abraham’s journey to the land of Canaan at God’s behest, and touches upon Abraham’s miraculous battle against the four kings, both of which are described in this week’s Torah reading.
The prophet Isaiah addresses Israel’s complaint: “”My way [of serving God] has been ignored by the Lord, and from my God, my judgment passes [unrewarded].”