Lech Lecha begins with God’s instruction to Abraham to depart from his homeland, birthplace and father’s house, and to embark on a journey to a land that will be revealed to him later (Gen. 12:1).
This mysterious land was Canaan, ultimately the homeland of the Jewish nation. Intriguingly, Abraham’s father had already set his sights on Canaan just a few verses earlier (Gen. 11:31), and with this plan in mind he left his homeland and birthplace together with Abraham, Sarah, and a range of other family members.
Why would God have instructed Abraham to leave a place he had already left, and tell him to go somewhere he was already going? Why the mystery about the destination, if Abraham knew where he was going? Abraham was well aware that Canaan was the last stop?
Rabbi Dunner examines these puzzling anomalies and reveals a subtext that turns God’s instruction into a fundamental roadmap for spiritual self-discovery.