Portions Library

A collection of essays on the weekly Torah Portions, from Genesis to Deuteronomy, adapted from Torah Club.

Lech LechaRead / Listen to Portion

Lech Lecha

All Things Created for Him

The rabbis say that God chose Abraham before the creation of the world. He looked for a single righteous man for whom He could justify creating the world. As He looked into the future, scanning over the generations of human beings to come, His eyes fell upon the righteous Abraham. On Abraham’s merit He chose to create the world

The Greatness of the Fathers

Paul explained to the increasingly Gentile congregations in Rome that the Jewish people remained God’s chosen people even though they had not accepted the gospel. He said, “…from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:28-29).

The Marriage Test

Distressed and broken-hearted, Sarah went to Abraham to lodge a complaint and to inquire about his intentions. Most husbands would respond with a sharp rejoinder: "Hey, it was your bright idea, now it's your problem. Don't blame me." But Abraham was not like most husbands.

Abraham Saw My Day

The sages say, “He revealed to him the future from the day of the Exodus from Egypt until the day of Messiah.” The tradition about Abraham’s vision of the Messianic Era explains why our Master said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).

Abraham's Great Reward

God honored Abraham's selflessness. Though Abraham went up with only 318 men against a much larger army, God delivered the enemy into his hands. Abraham rescued his nephew and all of the prisoners. He returned from the battle with the prisoners and all the plunder the invaders had taken.

Melchizedek's Banquet

Melchizedek hosted Abraham and his men at a great banquet: "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine" (Genesis 14:18). Jewish eschatology teaches that in the Messianic Era, the Messiah will host a great banquet in Jerusalem. The resurrected righteous will sit at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The Famine

Abraham, our father, was tested with ten trials, and he withstood them all; demonstrating how great was Abraham's love [for God], Abraham, our father. Peace be upon him. (m.Avot 5.3)

The Quarrel with Lot

In this relationship, Abraham was Lot’s senior. He was clearly in a position of authority over Lot. He could have sent Lot away, sent him back to Haran, or assigned him to any scrap of ground he chose. Instead, Abraham elected to give Lot the first choice of territory and to be content with whatever remained.