Lekh Lekha 5763
Posted on March 23, 2011
by Josh Dorsch
This week’s parasha, Lech Lecha, deals with the beginning of the 10 tests that God gives to Abraham, all of which he passes with flying colors. In last weeks parasha, Abraham is put into a furnace because he wouldn’t denounce his beliefs of God. And wouldn’t you know it, he came out of it unharmed. This week, our portion begins with God telling Abraham:
“Lech l’cha me artzecha umemoladetche u me beit avicha el ha aretz asher arekha” (Go for you from your land and from your birthplace and from the house of your father to the land that I will show you).
This is the second of 10 tests which God puts Abraham through. However, being that God is all knowing, he would already know that Abraham would pass the tests. Why would he then require for Abraham to act them out? The Ohr Gedalia explains the situation to us, with “potential.” He says that everyone is born with a certain amount of potential. G-D knows what everyone’s potential is, however, it is our job reach for our potential. God may know exactly what someone is capable of doing, as well as what they should do, however, unless that person does it, he will remain the same. God knows you can talk, but you must walk the walk. Another way in which this dilemma can be viewed, is the ever so popular and controversial question, about Free choice. If God is supposed all knowing, and he knew what Abraham would choose, was Abraham actually tested in the first place? Rambam’s answer to this question, is that God controls, and knows everything, except for how much one fears God. The reason in which someone would, or would not do something is because they are scared of their possible punishment. The more someone feared God, the more one would be inclined to follow God’s commandments. Even though God may have known what Abraham was going to do, he decided to let Abraham see for himself. God bestowed upon Abraham a great responsibility. He was going to be the father of not only the Jewish People, but a lot of other nations as well. Abraham may have been unsure of him self to be able to handle such a big responsibility. These tests were not actually meant to show God how affirm to God that Abraham was the right man for the job. But, to show Abraham his potential to be the father of a great nation.