In this week’s Torah portion, Lech Lecha, Abraham is called by God to go to a new land. The Hebrew word to “go”–lech–is doubled up, resulting in the more emphatic, “go forth” or “betake yourself.”
Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yizchak, 1040-1105) understands this to mean, “For your own benefit for your own good.”
What Rashi seems to be saying is that, for Abraham to succeed in his divine mission to found a new people, a new land and a new faith, he must derive a personal benefit for himself. A personal sense of goodness.
In our own Jewishness, there must also be a personal sense of self-satisfaction. The argument “I want to give my child what I did not have” does not necessarily hold true. Rather, “I want my child to have what I personally have.”
Judaism is a way of life that helps us to multiply the joys and divide the sorrows. To help us to make simple moments special moments.
If there is more boredom than joy in our practice of Judaism, more mindless ritual than thoughtful engagement, more emphasis on the letter of the law than the spirit, we will not only find ourselves spinning our spiritual wheels, but ultimately realizing that this is not a religion our children will embrace.
Rabbi David Vorspan,