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Go away to yourself, from your land, from your birthplace. (12:1)

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Ever since Hashem had driven Adam from Gan Eden to wander throughout the world, man has been seeking for Hashem. Even man’s early attempts to worship idols began as a form of searching for the source of all being. Avram was the one who discovered the secret, but not by exploring remote heights. The Midrash relates that “by himself he studied Torah“. We may suggest that he didn’t merely study by himself, but the meaning here is that he studied from himself, from within himself. His introspection led him to reflect upon the precision by which the universe is ordered. This indicated to Avram that the world could have no composite origin, but must have been the creation of one unique Being, from Whom everything originates.


In response to Avram’s discovery, Hashem said to him, lk lk – keep on going into yourself! You will learn nothing from outside. You will be alone, you will have no country, l,skunn – You will have no environment, lmrtn – you will have no place of origin. You will learn from no one. On the contrary, they will learn from you. You will never be the recipient of others’ blessings, but they will be the recipients of your blessings. Only through faith in yourself will you find faith in Hashem. The first Jew started out – not knowing when and how – but believing that somehow he will arrive at his destination. No biblical figure was tested more than Avram. Throughout his trials, his faith remained unwavering. This is the initial message of the first Jew. Faith in Hashem and His mitzvos strengthens and fortifies us, so that what seems unattainable is within reach. This faith must come from within ourselves; through searching and introspection we will perceive and believe.