Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein in honor of Sholom Yosef Gavriel ben Maya Tifcha, aka "Schmendrel Nash."
This class was presented Lech Lecha 5774 (October 2013) to seminary students of Beth Rivkah in Brooklyn, NY. What is the genesis of Judaism? How did our faith begin? What was the first conversation between G‐d and the first Jew, Abraham? “Go for yourself from your Land, from your Birthplace, and from your Father’s House to the Land I will show you.” But what a strange way of phrasing this eviction notice! If you had to pack up your bags and leave the Country, the realities of Geography dictate that you would have to first leave the house, then leave your birthplace, and only then could you leave your country. So why phrase this command in the reverse order? By reversing the geographical order, the Torah reveals that G‐d is commanding far more than just Abraham's physical departure from his country. He was challenging Abraham to make a departure from his inner “stories” that might obstruct the full realization of his true “I,” of his true existence.