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Parshat Lech Lecha

November 8, 2019

Lech Lecha is a message to all Jewish people, all around the world, and in every generation. In English, Lech Lecha translates to, “Go for yourself.” Don’t think of going as an abandonment of ideals or hope, or as the physical act of fleeing due to the facing of plight or hardships. Think of it as coming to a new place, to create and protect new ideals and hope to establish a new nation. In this Parsha, Abraham first inhabits the land of Israel and becomes the father of Judaism.

In many ways, this was the founding of the Jewish people. The leadership for Jewish people, and the land of Israel as an eternal home for them, was given to Abraham by means of a brit. A brit is a contract, one mutually agreed upon by two parties, and has since been predominantly used as moral contract, one to uphold honor and values. In fact, in BBYO we use brits and hold them in the highest regard. In Manhattan Region, every chapter board, regional board, and every counterpart network creates and signs a brit, and is held to the standard of the contract to which they agreed. The content of a brit usually entails elevating the importance of the chapter/region’s success above one’s own desire to receive personal recognition, never shying away from asking for help when you need it because of your own pride, and treating the rest of your board with respect at all times.

However, the brit in Parshat Lech Lecha was one between Abraham and G-d. It is one that is everlasting and permanent; unbreakable and incontestable. It binds us to G-d and it binds G-d to us. It reminds us that no matter how much we have strayed from core Jewish values, G-d will never forsake us. No matter how much we suffer from persecution and hatred, we will never forsake G-d. Although this brit was entered into many years ago by our forefather Abraham, it is even more relevant today as we face rising global levels of antisemitism. Still, we remain undaunted and encouraged by this everlasting covenant.

This Shabbat, Parshat Lech Lecha, is the anniversary of this brit. Let us celebrate together to mark this beautiful and special occasion.

Shabbat Shalom,

Sam Applebaum

Manhattan Region Godol

Read commentary on this week's Parsha from BBYO teens around the world.

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