Saturday Morning Shiur - Lech Licha 2020 What Does it Mean to Partner with God?
1 א
(א) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יקוק אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ׃ (ב) וְאֶֽעֶשְׂךָ֙ לְג֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל וַאֲבָ֣רֶכְךָ֔ וַאֲגַדְּלָ֖ה שְׁמֶ֑ךָ וֶהְיֵ֖ה בְּרָכָֽה׃
(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.
2 ב

(א) וַיֹּאמֶר יקוק אֶל אַבְרָם לֶךְ לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וגו' (בראשית יב, א), רַבִּי יִצְחָק פָּתַח (תהלים מה, יא): שִׁמְעִי בַת וּרְאִי וְהַטִּי אָזְנֵךְ וְשִׁכְחִי עַמֵּךְ וּבֵית אָבִיךְ, אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק מָשָׁל לְאֶחָד שֶׁהָיָה עוֹבֵר מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם, וְרָאָה בִּירָה אַחַת דּוֹלֶקֶת, אָמַר תֹּאמַר שֶׁהַבִּירָה הַזּוֹ בְּלֹא מַנְהִיג, הֵצִיץ עָלָיו בַּעַל הַבִּירָה, אָמַר לוֹ אֲנִי הוּא בַּעַל הַבִּירָה. כָּךְ לְפִי שֶׁהָיָה אָבִינוּ אַבְרָהָם אוֹמֵר תֹּאמַר שֶׁהָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה בְּלֹא מַנְהִיג, הֵצִיץ עָלָיו הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְאָמַר לוֹ אֲנִי הוּא בַּעַל הָעוֹלָם. (תהלים מה, יב): וְיִתְאָו הַמֶּלֶךְ יָפְיֵךְ כִּי הוּא אֲדֹנַיִךְ. וְיִתְאָו הַמֶּלֶךְ יָפְיֵךְ, לְיַפּוֹתֵךְ בָּעוֹלָם, (תהלים מה, יב): וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִי לוֹ, הֱוֵי וַיֹּאמֶר יקוק אֶל אַבְרָם.

(1) "G-d said to Abram, 'Go forth from your land…'" (Genesis 12:1) Rabbi Yitzchak opened: "Listen, daughter, look, and incline your ear, and forget your people and your father's house." (Psalms 45:11) Rabbi Yitzchak said: this may be compared to a man who was traveling from place to place when he saw a castle aglow. He said, "Is it possible that this castle lacks a person to look after it?" The owner of the building looked at him and said to him, 'I am the master of the castle.'" What happened with Abraham our father was similar. He said, “Is it possible that this universe lacks a person to look after it?," the Holy Blessed One looked at him and said to him, 'I am the Master of the Universe.'" "And let the king be aroused by your beauty since he is your master" (Psalms 45:12) And let the king be aroused for your beauty in the universe. "And bow to him" (Psalms 45:12) Hence, G-d said to Abram, [go forth...].Rabbi Yitzchak opened: "Listen, daughter, look, and incline your ear, and forget your people and your father's house." (Psalms 45:11) Rabbi Yitzchak said: this may be compared to a man who was traveling from place to place when he saw a castle aglow. He said, "Is it possible that this castle lacks a person to look after it?" The owner of the building looked at him and said to him, "I am the master of the castle." What happened with Abraham our father was similar. He said, "Is it possible that this universe lacks a person to look after it?" The Holy Blessed One looked at him and said to him, "I am the Master of the Universe." "And let the king be aroused by your beauty since he is your master..." (Psalms 45:12) And let the king be aroused for your beauty in the universe. "And bow to him" (Psalms 45:12) Hence, G-d said to Abram, [go forth...].

3 ג

(א) ימצאהו בארץ מדבר - זה אברהם אבינו; משל למלך שיצא הוא וחיילותיו למדבר, הניחוהו חיילותיו במקום הצרות ובמקום הגייסות ובמקום ליסטות - והלכו להם. נתמנה לו גבור אחד. אמר לו מלך: אל יפול לבך עליך, ואל יהי עליך אימה של כלום, חייך שאיני מניחך עד שתיכנס לפלטורין שלך תישן על מטתך, כענין שנאמר (בראשית טו) ויאמר אליו אני יקוק אשר הוצאתיך מאור כשדים:

(1) (Devarim 32:10) "He found him in a desert land": This refers to our father Abraham. An analogy: A king and his soldiers go out to the wilderness, whereupon his soldiers bring him to a place of afflictions, invaders, and marauders, and they abandon him — whereupon there joins him a hero, who says to him: King, do not despair; fear nothing. I swear not to leave you until you return to your palace and sleep in your bed, as it is written (in respect to Abraham, Bereshith 15:7) "I am the L-rd, who brought you out of Ur Kasdim, etc."

4 ד

(א) ויאמר יקוק אל אברם וגו'. טעם שדבר אליו יקוק קודם הראות לו, מה שלא עשה כן בכל הנבראים, ב' טעמים בדבר, או להיות שהוא עליו השלום נשתדל בהכרת בוראו מה שלא עשה אדם זולתו ובן חמש שנים הכיר את בוראו מעצמו בהתחכמותו (נדרים לב.), לזה לא הוצרך להגלות אליו אלא אמר אליו דברותיו וכבר הוכר אצלו המדבר. (ב) או אפשר, כי להיותו אדם ראשון בקדושה, אשר בעשרה דורות שקדמוהו לא היה אדם שהכיר אלהותו ודבר אתו אלקים, לזה נהג יקוק עמו בסדר זה שלא הראה שכינתו אליו עד שבחן אותו אם מקיים גזרותיו, ולאחר שקיים דבריו והלך לו מארצו וכו' אז נגלה אליו דכתיב (פסוק ז) וירא יקוק אל אברם, מה שאין כן שאר הנבראים שכבר קדמה ונשתקעה האמונה בלבם מאברהם והושרשו בקדושה היה נגלה להם תחלה. וצא ולמד מאבות ומשה בסנה.

(1) ויאמר ה׳ אל אברם, G'd said to Abram, etc. There are two reasons for the most unusual phenomenon of G'd speaking to Abraham without having first appeared to him in some kind of vision. 1) Abraham's constant endeavour to get to know his Creator, something no one had ever done before him. According to our tradition Abraham already recognised his Creator at the age of five without having received any guidance from a teacher. G'd therefore did not have to prove His existence to Abraham by appearing to him in a vision. He could take it for granted that Abraham was aware of who was speaking to him. (2) 2) During the ten generations since Noach that preceded Abraham not a single human being had recognized his G'd so that G'd had found him worthy to speak to. G'd therefore decided to test Abraham before speaking to him. He did this by demanding of Abraham that he leave his home, etc. Only after he had successfully passed that test did G'd decide to reveal Himself to Abraham in a vision as we find in 12,7. G'd did not relate in this manner to later generations because those generations had already absorbed a measure of faith in G'd through the example of their patriarch Abraham. They were born into an environment of some sanctity, an advantage not enjoyed by Abraham. As a result, G'd was able to commence His communications with such people by granting them a vision before He spoke to them.

5 ה

(ג) והיה ברכה. הַבְּרָכוֹת נְתוּנוֹת בְּיָדְךָ; עַד עַכְשָׁו הָיוּ בְיָדִי, בֵּרַכְתִּי לְאָדָם וְנֹחַ, וּמֵעַכְשָׁו אַתָּה תְבָרֵךְ אֶת אֲשֶׁר תַּחְפֹּץ (בראשית רבה).

(3) והיה ברכה AND BE THOU A BLESSING — Blessings are entrusted to you; hitherto they were in My power — I blessed Adam and Noah — but from now on you shall bless whomsoever you wish (Genesis Rabbah 39:11)

6 ו
(א) והיה ברכה. אתה תהיה הברכה אשר יתברכו בך לאמר ישימך אלקים כאברהם:
(1) והיה ברכה, “and become a blessing.” You will be the blessing by whom the nations will bless themselves when they quote you as a role model when blessing others and wishing that they should turn out to be like Avraham.