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Two Minutes of Torah: Lech Lecha - Be the Blessing

What do you want to be when you grow up?  This is a question that we often ask our children.  But in reality, when we ask them this question, we’re not really asking what do you want to be, we’re more accurately asking, what do you want to do.  We expect them to answer,  film star, astronaut, sports player, maybe even rabbi.  Because we’re asking about what profession, what job do they aspire toward in their future. 

The question of being, is a much deeper question, a much harder question to answer.  What do we want to be, that’s a question that can be answered by an emotion. I want to be happy.  Or, in the case of the Jewish people in Abraham’s call of Lech Lecha perhaps the answer is, to be a blessing.

This week, as Abraham is called by God to Lech Lecha to go out on the journey, God says to Abraham, I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you and I will make your name great and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you and curse those that curse you and through you shall all the families of the earth bless themselves.  In this way, from the very beginning, our story is about being a blessing. 

God tells Abraham what he will be, but at the same time, one can almost hear this as a challenge.  The challenge placed before Abraham and Sarah is to be a blessing.  To live their life in a way that blessing emanates from them.  Blessings for those closest to them, blessings for their families, blessing for the stranger and even blessings for the world as a whole. 

Abraham and Sarah, and by extension, each one of us, is challenged to be a blessing in the world.  As Jews, when we’re asked what do we want to be when we grow up, one of our answers should be, to be a blessing.  This means that we have to be conscious of whether, through the way that we behave,  through the way that we live our life, through the words that we speak, do we bring blessing, or do we bring pain and suffering into this world.

It is not necessarily easy to be a blessing, but this is what being Jewish is all about.  About spreading the blessing that we receive from God to everyone on the earth.  Ultimately as God says to Abraham, all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you, or through you.  We are to be that conduit of blessing for this whole planet.  It’s a heavy responsibility which Abraham accepted on our behalf all those years ago.  And, yet, there’s something so wonderful about the challenge placed before us. 

Can each one of us live our lives so that we truly are the heirs to Abraham and Sarah?  So that each one of us is truly a blessing.

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Rabbi Danny
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