Thinking about this Parsha, I come up with many of the different meanings of these two seemingly simple words and how they are relevent to my life, right now.
Avraham should to go to the land that God will show him. Avraham just goes on blind faith that God will bring him somewhere and then something good will happen. I think about this idea, and I wonder what it is like to know exactly what one’s mission on earth is. I think that in some ways it would be so nice to know that the choices that one made are the right ones.
With the switching of schools, there has been so much more change than I expected there to be. My stipend is lower. I am learning more on my own because the person that was supposed to be my chevruta can’t be. The learning feels like it is at a lower level. I need to move to another country for at least a year, but at the same time it is an indefinite amount of time.
Last year in the midst of all the pain and hardship, it felt like the switch was the right thing to do, even with some of the variables that I knew. Now being back in it, there have been many times that I question if I actually made the right choice, or if I just gave up.
This past week gave me the chance to look at it from both sides. One the one hand, I went to the Chag Hasmicha. I saw my friends, women I have been learning with for three years, who I know I won’t see as often anymore, if at all. I heard my teacher teach, and missed his classes and insights. I saw the younger girls who were my students, and realized how important having that interaction is. I had the realization that I will not be standing on that podium in a year, and that I won’t be giving any speech in Hebrew, because I left that world. On the other hand, I saw the administrator and saw how he interacted with people- reminding me of why I left. I was doing work later in the week and say a teacher/colleague of mine, and we had a chance to actually speak. After telling her about the past year and I mentioned that it was an abusive relationship, her comment was “that is what it sounds like, I’m glad that you put it that way. It’s good that you had somewhere else to go.”
So yes, I’m out of that abusive relationship, but I still have other paths to fight. If this is really want God wants me to be doing, shouldn’t it be easier?
Lech Lecha is also the promise to go to the Land of Israel. This is the verse that anyone who makes Aliyah quotes. Yes, I have fulfilled this quote. I followed in the footsteps of Avraham, and I too have moved to Israel. Into this wonderful, yet crazy country. To a land that is not where my family lives. To a land that for the past three weeks there have been daily stabbing, stoning, people getting run over. To a land that people are worried about one another. To a land where the random person on the bus is going to wish me “Shabbat Shalom.”
I have been her now for over 5 years, but at the same time I know that I might have to leave. As of now it is just a year, but with jobs and the such, I know there is a chance that it can be for much longer. It is hard that where I want to be doesn’t hold a place for me to do what I want to do. And if I move, am I a failure?
Another idea of Lech Lecha is the literal translation of “go into yourself”. I have to say that after last year I feel lost. I don’t actually know where or what I should be doing. I used to be so sure, and knew what I wanted and needed, and now I don’t. I feel like I am going through the motions- because at least that I know what to do.
My brother keeps on telling me to go and sit and listen, and God will guide me. I have no idea what that actually means, I wish I did. I wish I was able to hear God in as clear a way as Avraham. I wish I was able to look into myself and see what I need and how to achieve that.