So they tell a tale how a mom comes homes from work, and finds a note from her 16 year old son: "School was terrible. The teachers make me crazy, they pick on me all the time". Mom is quite distraught, but keeps on reading; "I never get good marks, and no one appreciates my work." She is really nervous, but continues. "So, I've decided to run away. I'm not sure when I'll be back, but I need a break from all this".


Mom is about to hit the roof, when she notices small writing all the way at the bottom of the page: "Just kidding, I'm not going anywhere. But I failed my math test. Please don't get mad, it could be worse..."


In this week's Torah portion we are introduced to the very first Jews. Not Adam, Eve or Noah, but Abraham and his wife Sarah. They are already quite old, Abraham at 75 and Saran 65, when G‑d instructs tells them; "Go. Leave your land, your birthplace, your father's house. Go to the land which I will show you". And so, just as their buddies were enjoying their retirement benefits, Abraham and Sarah set out on a journey from their town of Charan in Syria, and head south to the Land of Israel, then known as Canaan.The rest is history. They have their son Isaac, who has his son Jacob... and here we are!


Every story, law and commentary in the Torah has layers upon layers of meaning. Please join me on a little bit of a bumpy ride, and discover a beautiful life lesson embedded in the simplest words of the Torah.


The Kabbalah teaches that a human being is made up of many components, emanating from one pure soul-core. That core is at times expressed when we have a simple desire for something, not based on much of a logical analysis per se, but rather just 'because'. Just because I want it, it means something to me. Then we have the intellect, emotions, thought, speech and action.


G‑d says to Abraham to leave his 1) land 2) birthplace and 3) father's house. Each of these represent an element of the human character:


1) In Hebrew the word for land, 'eretz' is idiomatically related to the word 'ratzon' or desire. G‑d tells Abraham to leave your wills and desires - his own personal self - behind, and go change the world.


2)The mind is the trigger for - it 'gives birth' to - all other emotions or actions we take. Abraham is told to leave his 'place of birth'. Though his intellect, his private Torah study, is very important, he shouldn't only focus on his own personal spiritual refinement but should go help others as well.


3) Finally, Abraham is told to leave his 'father's house' as well. Just as a home is not our own body or soul, desires, thoughts, or emotions, but rather where we express ourselves, our actions, so too is Abraham told not to focus on his own personal actions, his own good deeds alone, but to go help others as well.


Abraham is told to 'leave', to go into the outside world and make it better. We shouldn't only focus on ourselves, our studies and private service of G‑d. Go and help every individual out there in any way you can. Help them connect to G‑d, help them do a mitzva, or help them smile.

Rabbi Avrohom