This Shabbat we read of G-d’s first directive to the first Jew: Lech Lecha! The word “Lech” means simply “Go!”. The word “Lecha” means “for yourself”.
“Go for yourself” … sounds like a strange way to give directions to someone, for a journey that you’re sending them on. Take the word “for yourself” out of the sentence and G-d’s directive flows more easily: “Go from your land … to the Land I will show you”. What does “Go for yourself from the land…” mean?
The answer is simple: G-d’s “First Directive to the First Jew”, is His directive to ALL Jews, including each of us living here today in 2018. In fact, this directive is exactly WHY we are still here as a People, the children of Abraham, 3,700 years later, as vibrant as ever.
Everyone is going. Somewhere. We’re going to the gym. We’re going to make money. We’re going to get married. We’re going to college. We’re going to be happy. Maybe. But we’re always going, moving, we know we need to be doing something with our lives.
The problem is that we’re not always sure why we’re going wherever it is we’re going to. Why make money? Why go to college? Why go to the gym? Of course, we need money, education, and health. But why? Just to make it through life? Why do we need to be alive? What is the purpose?
To find the answer to that question, G-d tells us to look deep inside of ourselves. “Go for yourself”. As you head out on the journey of life, probe your own heart, your own mind and your own soul for the values that you know are at the core of life, and ensure that the journey you embark on is for the purpose of perpetuating those values in the world around you: kindness, humility, wisdom, dignity, holiness, redemption.
Go – for yourself. Go out and let the world benefit from who you really are, yourself: your goodness, your kindness, is desperately needed out there. Go.