October 20, 2018 – Lech Lecha (“Go forth”) – Parshat 3
- Torah: Genesis 12:1 – 17:27
- Haftara: Isaiah 40:27 – 41:16
- Brit Chadasha: John 8:51–58
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ׃
Vayomer Adonay el-Avram lech lecha me’artsecha umimoladetecha umibeyt avicha el-ha’arets asher ar’eka.
The LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
B’reisheet 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Don’t be afraid, Abram. “anochi magen lach” (I am shield to you), your exceedingly great reward.”
This last Shabbat we looked at the surety of Hashem’s promises to us the children of Noach. But in this weeks Parshat we see doubt start to settle in on Avram Avinu after the defeat of the four kings, and the rescue of his nephew Lot. Adonai spoke hope into our father Avram through a vision, even before he asked the question or verbalized his doubts. We read the encouragement of Adonai to Avram Avinu in verse 15:1 above.
Avram knew the promises were dependent upon children, heirs to the land, and he had none. Would the promises made to him fail and Hashem not bring them to pass if he remained childless?
“A rabbinic explanation says that Abraham was thinking about the covenants. He wondered if the covenant that God had made with him had annulled or cancelled the covenant that He made with Noah. “Perhaps another man will arise who is more righteous and full of merit than I am, and then God will make a covenant with that man which will supersede the covenant He made with me!” The LORD replied, “Do not fear, I am a shield to you”” [First Fruits of Zion-Shadow’s of the Messiah-Book 1- Lech Lecha Pg.74]
So how could Adonai promising to be his shield guarantee the promise. The shield protects the spiritual promise and the ones promised!
“I have provided you the shields of the tzaddikim (righteous ones). This means that when your children commit transgressions and evil deeds, I will see one righteous man among them who can stand up before my Attribute of Justice and say, ‘Enough!’ Then I will take him and make him atone for your children.” [Genesis Rabbah 44:5]
And again ” This refers to Messiah (or the tzaddik of the generation), as it says in the section of Isaiah about King Messiah: ‘He was pierced through for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities … As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous one, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.'” [Yafeh To’or in Yalkut Moshiach: Lech Lecha, 161-162∫∫129 citing Isaiah 53:5-11.]
These Sages agree that the words from Hashem to Avram “I am your shield” point to none other than Mashiach, the offspring of his seed, in the son of Jessie and the House of David! Avram don’t worry my covenant with you stands forever, and your sons will always have a Goel (redeemer).
Gladden us, O LORD, our God, with Elijah the prophet, your servant, and with the Kingdom of the House of David, your Messiah — may He come quickly and bring joy to our hearts; may there not be a stranger sitting upon your throne, and may others never again inherit His Glory, for you swore to Him by your holy Name that His lamp would not be extinguished forever and ever, Blessed are You, O LORD, Shield of David. [Siddur, Blessing after the Haftara]
May you be abundantly blessed, as you continue your study of Torah afresh, looking for our Tzaddik Yeshua” Righteous Yeshua in Lech Lecha.
Shalom Mish’pachah from Beth Hallel Lodi