Parshat Lech L’cha

Artist: Edna Miron Wapner,  Canada / Israel

“God said to Avram* Go forth from your land, from your birthplace, your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and it shall be a blessing.’” (Genesis 12:1–3).


The spiritual call, lech l’cha  , can be understood in many different ways: Go by yourself and do it alone. Go [in]to yourself to fill your own potential. Go inward and do a heshbon nefesh, a spiritual accounting. Get on with it and do what you are destined to do.

The renowned medieval commentators, Rashi and Rambam, contributed their own interpretations on this biblical narrative. Rashi understands the reflexive use of the verb to mean go for yourself; go for your own benefit as God promised to make of Avram “a great nation and [or receive a] blessing” (Genesis 12:2). Rambam understands that Avram is being tested and called upon by God for a spiritual, personal mission. “The land that I will show you” is the only indication of where he is going. Rambam assesses the challenge in order of difficulty: firstly, leaving his home and homeland; secondly, leaving his family including his elderly parents. His faith and courage are being challenged to choose between God’s will and his own. His devotion is his guide on the journey. The tests, wanderings, and experiences are part of God’s design.


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About Edna

Edna Miron Wapner was born in Israel in 1948, and was brought up and educated in Montreal. She returned to her family’s Israeli roots in 1977 and settled in Jerusalem. As an artist with specialties in Printmaking, Sumi-e Painting, Calligraphy, and Papermaking, she has exhibited her work over the past thirty years in museums and galleries in the US, Israel, Russia and Japan. Her own approach to her art is a spiritual one facilitated through Jewish meditation followed by spontaneous creation.

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