Saturday, 5 November 2016

Abra(ha)m Received An A+

Guest Post:
Cantor Richard Wolberg
* * * * *

We all know that Abram, the progenitor of the Jewish people, was told to "Go forth," etc. The question everyone asks is why is "lamed chof" repeated twice. Once would have been enough. "Lech" — "Go forth".

Many different explanations have been advanced for the double "lamed chof" to which I'll add another.  What is the best score one can receive? One hundred percent. "Lamed chof" equals fifty (lamed=30 and chof=20). Lamed chof  twice is 100. 

Abraham passed the various tests of God with flying colors.  A midrash interprets the use of the double word to mean "Go forth to find your authentic self, to learn who you are meant to be". So the use of the double lamed chof informs us that he received one hundred percent!

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Rabbi RichWolpoe

Lech Lecha: The Personality of Blessings

From the archives of Nishma's Online Library at, we have chosen an article that relates to the week's parsha, both to direct you to this dvar Torah but also for the purposes of initiating some discussion.

This week's parsha is Lech Lecha and the topic is blessings, specifically what blessings say about the person being blessed. What one considers a blessing tells us much about that person. For a further discussion on this idea, see

Parsha: Lech Lecha, "Skin-Garment-House"

An interesting linkage is made on the first verse in Parshat Lech Lecha (Beraishit: 12:1)
"A person has 3 protective casings:
The Bassar, the Begged, and the Bayit.

-  New translation P. 288, RSR Hirsch

This point dovetails completely with the 3 forms of afflictions listed in Tazria-Metzora:
  • afflictions of the Skin, surface, dermatological
  • Garments
  • Houses
In the cases in Vayiqra, the afflictions [Nega'I'm] proceed from the inner to the outer.I don't see any explicit connection made by R. Hirsch in Lech Lecha itself, but the parallel is more than skin-deep!

When Avraham leaves Haran he is asked to leave his:
  • Country
  • Birthplace
  • House of your Father

Or from outer to inner. This is highly counter-intuitive. It is also a major salient point in R. Hirsch's brief essay


Parsha Lech Lecha - "Pere Adam"

Chofetz Chaim on Lech Lecha 16:12
Kol Tuv,