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Lech lecha Dvar Torah for Zayde’s Eulogy

This weeks parasha, lech Lecha sets the tone for Avraham avinus life story. g-d tells avraham “Go for yourself from your homeland, from your birthplace, and from your fathers home to the land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation and I will bless you.”

One question that came to mind was, why would hashem phrase the sentence as ‘lech lecha meartzecha umimoladecha umibeit avicha,” from your land, from your birthplace, and then lastly from your fathers home? Wouldn’t it make sense to first leave your home, then leave your town and then your land?

Why does the torah tell it in this order?

I read a mafarshim that states the reason that g-d says it in the order that ends with your home is because g-d is stressing that this will be a major challenge. Think about it this way. What is the hardest part of making Aliyah? Is it leaving your land the US? How bout your birth place/ New York? Its clear that the hardest part about making aliyah is leaving your family. For avraham to develop his nation, the most important aspect was to leave his fathers legacy and challenge himself with g-d to start his own

As we read through the parasha we learn the challenges Avraham faces as he travels through the land of Canaan. In fact in pirkei avos they talk about how Avraham was tested and challenged by g-d 10 times as he travels through the land to start his own nation. the rambam details the 10 tests where 6 of them exist in this parasha alone. The first test being to leave your home for eretz Canaan.

Avraham fulfills all 10 tests and in return g-d fulfills his promise of building Avraham a nation, the nation of the Jewish people where to this day we signify and bless Avraham avinu’s name on a daily basis through our prayers

The parallels between lech lecha – Avrahams test with g-d, and my grandfather`s test with g-d really hit me as I was learning about the parasha.

My ZAYDE, was born in Katowice, Poland in 1936 and was forced to leave his land, his birth place, and his fathers home. My zayde and his family settled in a town called frystak and when that town was invaded they were forced to hide in the forest during the harsh winters with barely any food to survive —similar to the famine that Avraham experienced as soon as he entered eretz Canaan. My zayde and his family scavenged for food and built relationships with gentiles in order to get potatos to survive.

Meeting every challenge, at the age of 6-8, my zayde and 12 members of his family were hidden by a polish family in a barn and dug a ditch under the pigs with space to only fit 13 people so no echoes could be heard by the nazis. Miraculously, all of my Zayde’s family survived, and when the war ended and the Jews were liberated, my zayde and his family were sent to a displaced persons camp in Austria where they stayed for 3 years, hoping to settle in the United States—the land where he would build a great family with g-d’s help.

Like avraham, my Zayde’s journey was one of moving forward. My zayde would always tell me that “you can only move forward if you lift one foot up and are in a state of imbalance”. In other words, if you keep both feet on the ground, stay in your comfort zone, and never challenge yourself —you will never lech —or move forward. What was the most amazing about My zayde was that he met every challenge g-d gave him, always journeying forward in a constant state of imbalance. My zayde struggled with g-d, and embraced g-d even more. all of these struggles made my zayde determined to live life, build a family and teach his grand children and those around him his life lessons.

On October 29th, my zayde unfortunately passed away, but as I stand here today, we are visual proof that Avraham and my zayde`s promises were both fulfilled. Together with my amazing Bubbe, mom, dad, wife, brothers, and sisters our principles are built around Judaism and g-d. should you journey to yad vashem you will see that the family that saved my zayde are among the righteous gentiles among nations. we journey forward, but we must never forget how we got there.

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Source: Reditt

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