This week’s portion is Lech Lecha, which means to “go out,” and these are the very words that God speaks to Abraham in the story. It is here that God appoints Abraham to be his messenger, to leave the place where he lives, to “go out,” and to spread spirituality amongst the world.
The story always reminds me of the early days with Rav Berg in Israel. The Kabbalah Centre then was not like the Kabbalah Centre we know today. There were no study groups or student support, there were no teachers around the world, no local Centres which students could go to anytime to connect. It was just the Rav, myself, and a handful of students studying in Israel. We could have stayed that way forever. It might have, at times, been more comfortable and certainly a lot less work. Yet, we felt the Light calling upon us to “go out,” to expand our reach so that we could share this life-changing wisdom with more people. That was when we started spending more time in New York, where the Rav began teach and study with students out of a basement in Queens. It was a leap of faith, but if we had not made that leap, the many Centres you see around the world today might not have ever existed.
What does this mean for each of us personally though? Are we all supposed to leave the city we live in, and go out into the world and spread spirituality? I don’t think that’s the answer. For we know from last week’s portion of Noach that every person’s path is different. For me, the words “go out” don’t necessarily refer to a change in location, but a change in behavior. This week, we are being called upon to go outside of ourselves.