100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

October 22, 1993 - Image 34

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-10-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

NEW FURNITURE

FOR THE HOLIDAYS

You Need Faith
To Move Forward

NORMAN T. ROMAN SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

ech Lecha serves as our in-
troduction to the patriarch,
Abraham, and his family.
Yet that introduction con-
tains no special words of praise
— not like Noah, for example,
who was "upright ... righteous
in his generation."
As a matter of fact, Abraham
is already 75 years old when he
responds to the call of Lech
Lecha! We know him (and his
wife, Sarah) as the founders of
Judaism, originators of
Monotheism; he is the first to
be described with the term of
"Ivri," one who crosses or moves
from place to place.
Jewish and world history are
changed profoundly when Abra-
ham comes on to the scene. Yet
the name of this Torah portion
is "Lech Lecha (Go Forth!)," not
"Abraham," even though tradi-
tionally the sedrah's titles come
from the first words of the sec-
tion. It's almost as if we are be-
ing taught that the theme of
Abraham's first Jewish deci-
sions are more significant than
his name; in the Torah's ac-
count of his life, Abraham's
deeds in response to God's call
define the very purposes of be-
ing Jewish, even to this day.
Abraham and Sarah hear the
message: "Lech Lecha — go
forth . . . to the land that I will
show you . . . and be a blessing."
They don't even know their
destination when they start out
from Haran, they aren't told ex-
actly where they are going, only
that they are on a journey of
faith.
What a new concept that
must have been! Noah was told
why he was commanded to
build an ark. Adam and Eve
were given explicit directions
in the Garden. But Abrham and
Sarah were only instructed in
general terms: "Go forth."
Our tradition tells us that we
don't need to know our specific
destination, but we need to have
faith in our purpose and mis-
sion. Only when we embark
upon life and decisions with con-
fidence and integrity do we an-
swer our call.
Our Jewish purpose is to be
out in the world, as a "light to
the nations," always moving
and crossing over to other op-
portunities and experiences. We
are neither drifters nor nomads;
we journey with vision and di-
rection (though not always with
a clear destination).

L

• Fine Designer Furniture
• Professional Interior Design Service
• Immediate Delivery - In Time For The
Holidays

6644 Orchard Lake Rd. at Maple Rd. • West Bloomfield • 855-1600
Hours: M-Th-F 10-9 • Tu-W-Sat 10-6 • Sun 12-5

90 Days Same as Cash. No interest if paid within 90 days of purchase with approved
credit. In stock merchandise. sorry - no special orders -. Immediate Delivery Sales ends
10/31 /93 • F xcludes gifts & accessories

CONGREGATION BETH SHALOM

PRESENTS ITS

SECOND ANNUAL

easul

GOLD • SILVER
PLATINUM

Michigan's MarketMakers
In Coins and Bars

S

"Sell Where the Dealers Sell"

B4RN=TT
RARITI=S

eoSu

C O R P O R A T I O N

189 MERRILL ST. BIRM., MI 48009

"oar (313) 644-1124

AUCTION

Since 1971

NOVEMBER 6, 1993

at the Synagogue
14601 West Lincoln, Oak Park

Silent Auction
7:30 p.m.



ste.44.1
N.S7)eirioq'

Live Auction
8:30 p.m.

Bid on these exciting treasures:
•CARS •JEWELRY •TRIPS
• *FURS •ART •VACATIONS
and much more!

"Where You Come First"

Kosins

Clothes

Southfield Road
at 11 / 1 2 Mile

559-6930

*Dessert Buffet *Professional Auctioneer *Prizes

r
T
MasffiCard

OMEN.

VISA"

Tickets $7.50 in advance
$10.00 at the door
Ticket information: 547-7970

Proceeds benefit synagogue programs

(MICS R28746)

CLASSIFIED
GET RESULTS!

Call The Jewish. News

354-5959

Norman T. Roman is rabbi at
Temple Kol Ami in West.
Bloomfield.

The Midrash compares Abra-
ham to a jar of fragrant oil
which was sealed tight. Only
when he was set free by the
command "Lech Lecha" does he
release his fragrance and influ-
ence, so all around him benefit
from the aroma.
Abraham knew that his gift
of faith and insight into the One
God could not exist in the vac-
uum of his father's polytheistic,
idol-based world. He left that
sealed jar of archaic belief, and
spread the fragrance of
monotheism and peoplehood in
new places. Abraham's desti-
nation wasn't important to him,
but the purpose of his mission
and his actions along the way
sustained him.
A lesson of Lech Lecha is that
each of us can and must find
that sense of mission and pur-
pose in what we do. Each day

Lech Lecha:
Genesis 12:1-17:27,
Isaiah 40:27-41:16.

and action can be a response to
the "call."
A classic story tells of three
workers chipping stone at an
ancient building site. When
asked what they were doing,
the first man replied, "rm chip-
ping stone." The second, "I'm
making a living." But the third
proudly answered, "I'm helping
to build a great sanctuary!"
Other commentators inter-
pret the words Lech Lecha not
as "Go forth," but as "Go to your-
self." Go to your destiny, your
future, your potential. This, of
course, is always the hardest
journey; and others frequently
see our destination before we
do.
Parents, a spouse, colleagues
often know what we are about
to do before we acknowledge it
ourselves. But the call of Lech
Lecha can only be answered
when each of us is ready, even
though it touches us sometimes
when we least expect it. It is the
call of maturity or responsibil-
ity, of love or of faith.
Perhaps Lech Lecha means
"Go by yourself." Does there not
come a time for each of us when,
like Abraham and Sarah, we
take leave of our families and
homes, our sources of uncondi-
tional love and acceptance? We
hear the call to face an experi-
ence, an opportunity, a chal-
lenge alone, with an individual
sense of purpose and mission.

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan