Lech Lecha: Renewal, Joy, and Progress

October 27, 2022

The three cardinal principles for life we are taught by the Torah’s first three portions. Don’t get stuck in the past, don’t fall into a rut, and don’t become complacent.

A. The name of the Parsha expresses its content
The name of the Parsha is not coincidental. Rather, it expresses the idea of the entire Parsha.

B. Bereishit – Don’t get stuck in the past
The negative inclination tries to convince us not to do good deeds, with the excuse that we must first repent, as it is written in the Tanya that it is impossible to worship G-d without first repenting (Source 1).
The lesson from Parshat Bereishit: The world was created out of nothing, and as the Baal Shem Tov explained, it is renewed at every moment (Source 2). This means that the individual person is also created anew every moment, and is therefore not limited to his status and condition from the moment before. It is true that we must remember the past in order to make amends, but we must do this only at specific times – the rest of the time must be dedicated to serve G-d.

C. Noach – constant joy
The name ‘Noach’ represents pleasure and joy. Parshat Noach teaches us that we must serve G-d with joy. This is highlighted in the well-known explanation of the Arizal on the verse “Because you did not serve your G-d with joy,” that the punishment is for the fact that you worshiped G-d without joy (Sources 3 and 4).

D. Lech Lecha – Keep Moving Forward
Parshat Lech-Lecha teaches that a person should not be complacent. Rather, one must always advance further, and strive to rise higher.



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