Parshat Lech Lecha: Going to goodness as our land

We have mentioned that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his children, Miriam, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and the leading characters in Jewish history encompass diverse complementary traits, qualities and expressions of the Jewish identity. Among them, Abraham is the root of such identity and also their converging principle our sages define as loving kindness, which is a sublime expression of goodness.

Loving kindness is the commanding character trait destined to direct all aspects, facets and expression of human consciousness, for it is what sustains life. Hence, it is our true identity to which we go as the essence of who we are.

Go to yourself from your land, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)

Haran was the land where Abraham was born, but it was not the land where he belonged. Our sages relate the name haran to anger, which was not part of Abraham’s qualities or his approach to life. Living in a land that denies loving kindness as the finest quality and expression in human consciousness was not the place to be and to manifest it. Therefore Abraham had to go to the land that reflected his essence as himself.

Thus we understand that Abraham’s kindred and his father’s house were not part of him. In this same context, his father’s house represented living in a consciousness devoted to idol worship as the attachment to negative traits and traits derived from ego’s materialistic fantasies and illusions. Going to himself was the recognition that goodness is the place where he belonged, as the land that God gave him and his Jewish descendants for eternity.

In this awareness we realize that our greatness as humans in this world is goodness, because from goodness comes all the blessings in order to be the blessing for all that we approach and relate in this world.

And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, and be you a blessing.” (12:2)

Thus we also understand that goodness is the divine ruling principle of God’s creation, manifest as the ethical framework with which we must approach and experience life. This framework rejects the curses that are the opposite of the blessings coming from goodness.

And I will bless them that bless you, and him that curses you will I curse; and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (12:3)

Once we enthrone in our consciousness loving kindness as a sublime expression of the goodness that God wants us to live as the Promised Land for the Jewish identity, it also will be a blessing for those with whom we relate in this world. They will be blessed as long as they find themselves as extensions to expand the goodness that they are also destined to enjoy in this world.

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Kochav Yaakov.
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