Parashat Lech Lecha

By Rabbi Shlomo Zargari:

Shalom, Parashat לך לך takes place when Avraham Avinu enters ארץ ישראל. Soon after, there’s a famine and he is forced to go down to Egypt where HaShem performs miracles for him and he heads back to ארץ ישראל with heavy cattle and much wealth. A dispute began between his shepherds and the shepherds of his nephew Lot. Avraham Avinu suggested they should go their separate ways and that’s what they did.

וה׳ אָמַ֣ר אֶל־אַבְרָ֗ם אַחֲרֵי֙ הִפָּֽרֶד־ל֣וֹט מֵֽעִמּ֔וֹ שָׂ֣א נָ֤א עֵינֶ֙יךָ֙ וּרְאֵ֔ה מִן־הַמָּק֖וֹם אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּ֣ה שָׁ֑ם צָפֹ֥נָה וָנֶ֖גְבָּה וָקֵ֥דְמָה וָיָֽמָּה:

And HaShem said to Avram, after Lot had parted from him. Raise your eyes and look out from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. (Bereshit 13,14)
Rashi on this pasuk says, “So long as the evil person was with him, the prophecy of HaShem was separated from him.”

When you think about it, writes Harav Shach זצוק״ל, it must be that Avraham Avinu knew the rule that HaShem wouldn’t talk to him as long as he was with Lot, and still he continued being with him and said nothing. He was losing the opportunity of being with the Shechina of HaShem which is a big loss because when this connection is established, the person is elevated to greater heights. Yet Avraham Avinu continued his kindness to Lot.

Similar to this we find in the Talmud Shabbat 127A “Hosting needy guests is greater than greeting the Shechina.” This is learned from next week’s parasha. As Hashem appears to Avraham Avinu, he runs to greet guests. Although he could have achieved great heights in prophecy, he still chose to greet the guests! We learn from here that Avraham was willing to “forgo” his growth for the sake of helping and bringing others closer to serve HaShem.

However, when the dispute began and the possibility of damage and loss in any way, Avraham made the decision of parting their ways.One needs to always be vigilant in judgment of the situation, the gain and the loss, for each party involved!!

Shabbat Shalom