Just a quick idea of the world – we have a verse in Tehillim which says that every thousand years is like a day in G-d’s eyes. Just like there were six days of creation and then Shabbos, the world is programmed to have six thousand years of man’s efforts to redeem the world and then there will be Shabbos- a switch to a fully spiritual world. The first 2000 years of the world were Tohu va’vohu – just as the first days of creation were about murky waters and darkness, the first two thousand years saw little spiritual light. Then in the year 2000, Avraham began teaching G-d awareness in the world. The next two thousand years are years of Torah – starting with Avraham, going through giving of Torah and culminating in the building of the Mikdash – and lasting a bit past the destruction of the 2nd Temple when you had the end of the codification/writing down of the oral law — the Mishna. The next 2000 years is one of Galus – but is considered the days of Moshiach’s coming and also of starting to get ready for Shabbos. It starts with the Zohar/Kabballah being written. We, in our generation, are somewhere midday in Friday.
So Parshas Lech Lecha begins the 2000 years of Torah with Avraham beginning to teach all the world the concept of Torah.
PARSHAS LECH LECHA
We start the journey of Avraham this week. G-d tells Avram, [CHAPTER 12, VERSE 1] “lech lecha…” go for yourself. RASHI: for your benefit. Tests/ordeals are there for us to grow. Coal subjected to pressure and heat become diamonds. Taut strings when strummed make music. Great people are given tests.
“…may’artzecha, oo’mee’moladtcha, oo’meebays aveecha…”
G-d didn’t sugar-coat the test. Avram has to leave, “his land, his birthplace and his father’s home…” All that is familiar he has to leave behind to grow in to his unique spiritual person. Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch says that this is the way civilization is built – first a person has influence and responsibility to his family-unit, then to his city and then to his nation…and then to the world. When someone has to forge a new spiritual identity, the opposite has to happen. When Avraham is being told to redo his life and become a harbinger of spirituality he has to unravel the influences that had been there in his life, so he must leave his nation – must leave behind patriotism to his country. He then must leave the familiar streets of his city, the culture he’d absorbed. And he then also had to leave behind the wrong morals of his family.
When we’ve been knit into the wrong garment, we must unravel our strand of life and then reknit it anew into a better one. That is how the 2000 years of Torah begins, by unraveling a past so that a new future could be built.