Jessamyn & Jacob Sheva Brachot, 10.17.18 Lech Lecha:The Journey Begins


(א) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ׃ (ב) וְאֶֽעֶשְׂךָ֙ לְג֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל וַאֲבָ֣רֶכְךָ֔ וַאֲגַדְּלָ֖ה שְׁמֶ֑ךָ וֶהְיֵ֖ה בְּרָכָֽה׃ (ג) וַאֲבָֽרֲכָה֙ מְבָ֣רְכֶ֔יךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ֖ אָאֹ֑ר וְנִבְרְכ֣וּ בְךָ֔ כֹּ֖ל מִשְׁפְּחֹ֥ת הָאֲדָמָֽה׃
(1) 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. (2) I will make of you a great nation, And I will bless you; I will make your name great, And you shall be a blessing. (3) I will bless those who bless you And curse him that curses you; And all the families of the earth Shall bless themselves by you.”
(א) לך לך. לַהֲנָאָתְךָ וּלְטוֹבָתְךָ, שָׁם אֶעֶשְׂךָ לְגוֹי גָדוֹל, כָּאן אִי אַתָּה זוֹכֶה לְבָנִים, וְעוֹד שֶׁאוֹדִיעַ טִבְעֲךָ בָּעוֹלָם:
(1) לך לך GET THEE OUT (literally, go for thyself) — for your own benefit, for your own good: there I will make of you a great nation whilst here you will not merit the privilege of having children (Rosh Hashanah 16b). Furthermore, I shall make known your character throughout the world (Midrash Tanchuma, Lech Lecha 3)

"Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else's. So the path has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else's journey and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honor your uniqueness in this way?" ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

(ח) ואברבה מברכך ומקללך אאור (בראשית יב, ג). ולכאורה מפני מה שינה הלשון שאצל הברכה אמר מקודם ואברכה ואצל הקללה הקדים ומקללך. אך נראה שזה ידוע שהבורא ברוך הוא מצרף מחשבה טובה למעשה ולא מחשבה רעה חלילה ועל זה אמר ואברכה מברכיך, דהיינו דתיכף ומיד כשתעלה על מחשבה של אדם הטוב לברך אותך אז אצרף אותה מחשבה למעשה ויהיה בעיני כאלו קיים המצוה הזאת ואז אברך אותו תיכף ומיד כדי שיהא כלי מוכן לקבל הברכה ואז יברך אותך אבל ומקללך אאור, היינו שאחר שיקלל אותך אז אקלל אותו אבל אם יהיה במחשבה לקלל אותך אז לא אקלל אותו והבן:

(8) Genesis ‎12,3. “I shall bless those who bless you, and those who ‎curse you I shall curse.” At first glance it seems strange that ‎the Torah changed the order of subject and object when speaking ‎of anyone who would curse Avraham. Why would people who ‎bless Avraham be given a blessing before they had actually done ‎so? We find here an example of the principle that G’d considers ‎good intentions as part of the carrying out of such intentions, i.e. ‎the party carrying out a noble intention, is retroactively rewarded ‎not only for the deed but also for the thoughts that led up to the ‎deed. When planning something wicked, G’d does not take this ‎into consideration even after the wicked act has been carried out. ‎‎(Kidushin 40.)‎

“In Aristotle's words, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
― Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment

"I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship." ~ Brené Brown, “Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead”, p.182

"The spiritual path is not a solo endeavor. In fact, the very notion of a self who is trying to free her/ himself is a delusion. We are in it together and the company of spiritual friends helps us realize our interconnectedness." ~ Tara Brach