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Parshas Lech Lecha
Pesukim: 126 [Siman: נמל”ו]
Haftorah: Yeshayahu 40:27-41:16
Number of Mitzvos:
There is a total of One Mitzvah in Parshas Lech Licha. There is One positive command and Zero negative commands. The following are the commands in the order listed by the Sefer Hachinuch.
1. Mitzvah 2/Positive 2: Bris Mila. To circumcise a boy on the 8th day.
- Avraham travels to Eretz Canaan:
- Hashem commands Avraham to leave his homeland to a land that he will be shown.
- Avraham is blessed that through doing so, he will turn into a great nation and become famous. He will receive the power of blessing and curse.
- Avraham was 75 years old at the time.
- He left together with Lot, his nephew, and his wife Sarai, and all their followers, towards the land of Canaan.
- Avraham arrived at the town of Shechem, known as Eilon Moreh.
- Hashem revealed Himself to Avraham there, and told him that his descendants will receive this land. Avraham built an altar in that area.
- Avraham settled his tent on the mountain between Beis Ail and Ai and built an alter there.
- Avraham continued traveling towards the south.
- Avraham travels to Egypt due to the famine:
- There was a famine in Eretz Canaan and Avraham went down towards Egypt, to settle there temporarily.
- When they came close to Egypt, Avraham told his wife that he realized how beautiful she is and that when the Egyptians will see her, they will kill him, her husband, and let her live. He therefore asked Sarai to tell them that she is his sister, and thus he too will live.
- Avraham and Sarah in Egypt:
- When they arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians saw how beautiful she was, and the ministers of Pharaoh had her brought to Pharaoh. Pharaoh gave Avraham many cattle and slaves as a present.
- Hashem afflicted Pharaoh and his household with a great plague due to them taking Sarai. Pharaoh confronted Avraham saying that he should have told them that she is his wife, and not his sister. Sarai was then returned to Avraham.
- Avraham and his wife were then escorted out of the country and traveled back to Israel, to the south of the country. He came back from Egypt with many cattle, gold and silver.
- Lot separates from Avraham:
- Lot likewise had with him a lot of cattle, and together with the cattle of Avraham, there was not enough grazing land available for both of them. This caused their shepherds to quarrel. Avraham pleaded with Lot that they should not quarrel and rather Lot should travel in a separate direction.
- Lot chose to travel towards the city of Sodom. The people of Sodom were very evil.
- Hashem blesses Avraham with inheritance of Israel: After Lots departure, Hashem appeared to Avraham and reinsured him that his descendants will inherit all of the land of Canaan. Hashem instructed Avraham to walk the land, in both its length and width to see how much he will be given. Hashem promised Avraham that his descendants will be as many as the sand of the earth.
- Avraham then settled in Elonei Mamrei, which is Chevron, and built an altar for Hashem.
- The battle of the 4 and 5 kings:
- Amrafel, the king of Shinar, Aryoch the king of Elasar, Kedarla’omer the king of Ailam, and Tidal the king of Goyim waged war with Bera the king of Sodom, Birsha the king of Amorah, Shinav the king of Admah, Shemaiver the king of Tzevoyim, and Bela the king of Tzoar. They waged war in the valley of Sidim, which is the dead sea.
- For 12 years the five kings served Kedarla’omer and for 13 years they rebelled. In the 14th year, Kedarla’omer came with his three allies and waged war against them. The four kings overtook the five kings and their people fled.
- Lot was taken captive during the war, and a certain fugitive came and informed Avraham of what occurred.
- When Avraham heard this, he went out to wage war with members of his house, a total of 318, and he chased the four kings until Dan. He was successful in overcoming the four kings and drove them out until Damascus.
- King of Sodom/Malki Tzedek: Avraham returned all the stolen property, and Lot and the people, back [to their homes]. The king of Sodom came to greet Avraham after the victory. Malki Tzedek, the king of Shaleim, came to greet Avraham and offered him bread and wine. He then gave praise to Hashem for protecting Avraham.
- Avraham gave Maaser to him from all his possessions.
- The victory of the war and distribution of booty:
- The king of Sodom offered Avraham to keep the spoils, but return the people [to his nation]. Avraham refused to take any of the spoils, so people would not say that the king of Sodom made him wealthy. However, he did request payment for his people who joined him in battle.
- Hashem blesses Avraham with children: After the above occurrence, Hashem appeared to Avraham and reassured him of his great reward. Avraham responded by saying that his reward is irrelevant as he has no heirs amongst his offspring who will inherit it. Hashem then promised Avraham that he will have a child who will inherit him. He took Avraham outside and pointed towards the stars in heaven saying that his descendants will be as many as the stars of the sky.
- Bris Bein Habesarim:
- Avraham requested from Hashem a sign that in fact he would inherit the land of Canaan.
- Halving the animals: Hashem instructed Avraham to take three calves, three goats, three rams, a dove, and a young bird. Avraham cut each one in half, with exception for the birds. A raven came to eat the carcasses and Avraham had to shoo him away.
- Vision of the Egyptian exile: Avraham fell into a deep sleep. In his sleep he felt a great darkness and fear. Hashem then told Avraham that his children will be enslaved and oppressed for 400 years in a foreign nation. Hashem promised to judge that nation and that the Jewish people will leave that nation with great wealth. You, Avraham, will die of good old age and return to your fathers in peace. After three generations of exile in Egypt, in the fourth generation, your children will return to inherit the land of Canaan.
- A great flame came and passed between the halved carcasses.
- Covenant to inherit the land to Avraham: On that day Hashem made a covenant with Avraham to give the land to his descendants, from the river of Egypt until the great Euphrates river. The lands of Kini, Kenizi, Kadmoni, Chiti, Perizi, Refaim, Amori, Canaani, Girgashi and Yevusi.
- Avraham marries Hagar:
- Sarai, who had not given birth to a child for Avraham, had a maid whose name was Hagar. She offered Avraham to marry her maid, so he have children and so she merits to have children through her. Avraham was given Hagar in marriage after settling in the land of Canaan for ten years. Hagar became pregnant right away and began to slight her master, Sarai, in her eyes.
- Hagar flees: Sarai was upset and confronted Avraham for being complacent towards the behavior of Hagar. As a result of the complaint, Avraham returned Hagar to Sarai, and she oppressed her to the point that she fled.
- Angel blesses Hagar: An angel found Hagar near a well in the desert. She told the angel that she was running away from her master Sarai. The angel told her to return to her master Sarai, and be subservient to her. The angel promised her that her children will be plenty and multiply to the point they are uncountable. He told her to call the son that she will have the name Yishmael. He will be a wild man, his hands reaching everywhere, and living everywhere.
- Yishmael is born: Hagar gave birth to a son for Avraham and Avraham called him Yishmael. Avraham was 86 years old at the time of the birth.
- Bris Mila
- At the age of 99, Hashem appeared to Avraham and asked him to perform a covenant with Him.
- Avram becomes Avraham-Will become father of all nations: As a result, Hashem promised that Avraham would become a father for all nations, and his name will be changed from Avram to Avraham in light of this position. He will have a multitude of offspring and many kings will sprout from him.
- Will inherit Israel: In merit of this Mitzvah, Hashem will make a covenant with Avraham’s descendants and be considered their G-d for eternity. They will be given the land of Canaan.
- Laws of Bris Mila: Hashem requested that Avraham’s descendants guard this Bris. What is the Bris? For every male to circumcise himself. The removal of the foreskin will be a sign and covenant between us and Hashem. All household members are to be circumcised at eight days old. One who does not circumcise himself will be cut off from his nation, as he has denied My covenant.
- Saraiy becomes Sarah: Hashem told Avraham to no longer call her by the name Sarai, as from now on Sarah is her name.
- Sarah is blessed with a child: Hashem told Avraham that his wife Sarah will give birth to a son for him, and he will be blessed and become a great nation. Avraham fell to his face on the ground excited at the great news that he will have a child at 100 years old and his wife at 90 years old. Avraham exclaimed to Hashem “If only Yishmael will live before you.” Hashem responded that Sarah will give him a son in exactly one year from now, and the covenant will continue with him. Hashem told Avraham to name his son Yitzchak, and He will establish an everlasting covenant with his descendants.
- Hashem told Avraham that from Yishmael will be born 12 princes.
- The circumcision: After Hashem departed, Avraham took Yishmael and all of his household and circumcised them. Avraham was 99 years old at the time of his circumcision and Yishmael was 13 years old.
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