Two-Line Torah: Lech Lecha 5777–Into the unknown



November 3, 2016

Election week.  The week we have all been waiting for and dreading.  How perfect that our Torah portion this week sends Abram (Abraham) off to an unknown land, asking him to leave everything he knows of his birth land and “Go forth to a land that I (G-d) will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)  Abram doesn’t even know what his destination will be when he sets out!

Like Abram, Sarai and Lot, we are all headed into the unknown this week—both before we find out the election results and after.  Yet as Americans we must go forward, and we must do it together.  The election has revealed and created deep fissures in our country.  We must take the attitude of Abram and Lot who agree amiably to divide up the land, even when their herdsmen are quarreling.  “Let there be no strife between you and me, between my herdsmen and yours, for we are kinsmen.  Is not the whole land before you?” (Genesis 13:8)  There is enough for us all here.

Rabbi Danielle Stillman is the director of Jewish student life and associate chaplain at Lehigh University.