In Parshas Lech Lecha Avram (before he was called Avraham) is told to go “from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house”.

The order of this sequence is quite strange, surely one would expect to find the statement reversed!?! I have thought of one explanation to join the myriads that have been written on this verse.

When HaShem tells Avram to Go, he is instructing him to go on a spiritual journey to get close to G’d. Avraham Avinu represents someone finding Torah and HaShem in the world and striving to get close to that. HaShem here is telling him how to do this.

I believe that this sequence and message is also applicable today. Any b’al teshuva or anybody who has grown up without a religious background per se can learn from this sequence the best way of getting close to HaShem. Let’s examine the steps:

First Avraham is told to leave his land. Perhaps we can see this as a message for us to look around us and see the world what it is – a world based on corrupted ideologies and ideas.

The first stage of achieving closeness with HaShem is to recognize that the world we live in is severely lacking moral fibre and we should appreciate the differences between the world’s view of life and the Torah’s.

Secondly Avraham is told to leave his birthplace. Taking this message for ourselves, we can reach the second stage once the first stage has been achieved. After realising the lackings of the world around us, we must then consider the lackings that surround us more personally.

Someone who has not been brought up in a religious environment must recognize that their surroundings and actions up till now may not have always been conducive to living a Holy life.

Often one may have been brought up with a certain mindset that does not provide a positive outlook on life – and the second stage is to exchange that mindset in place of one more focussed in the way outlined by the Torah and Chazal.

Thirdly, the most difficult act of leaving is at a much later stage. Once someone has realised that the world around them is far from ideal, and that they have been raised doing actions that they would not do anymore, then it may be time to leave ones parents’ reach.

Many people make necessary and correct sacrifices for their parents. It is correct to keep Shalom Bayis in the home and there are countless leniencies that people are encouraged to use in certain situations.

However, whether it is actually leaving home, or just abandoning ones parents’ values it is important to eventually make the leap as this is the main magnet that keeps us from growing and fulfilling our potential. This of course should only be attempted when the relationship with ones parents can achieve this result, and with little pain and a lot of love.

Every stage should be done little by little with emunah that our difficulties and sufferings will merit our coming closer to HaShem, and everyone taking this journey should be blessed by HaShem with the blessings that He gave to Avraham Avinu on his journey of becoming a B'al Teshuva!

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