In the beginning of this week’s Torah Portion, Lech Lecho, the Torah tells us that Hashem commanded Avrom to “Go forth from your land and your birthplace and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” The Torah then tells us that Avrom fulfilled Hashem’s command and went to the Land of Israel. Avrom went, as Hashem had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. Avrom was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.
Besides Lot, Avrom also brought others. He also traveled with “…Sorai, his wife, and Lot, his brother’s son. He brought all of the possessions that they had acquired. Additionally, he brought the souls (people) they had acquired in Choron, etc. Rashi seems to be bothered by the phrase “the people they had acquired.” How can one acquire a person? He explains that it refers to those “whom he had brought under the wings of the Shechinah. Avrom would convert the men, and Sarahi would convert the women. This teaches us that the Torah considers it as if they had made them.”
In other words, Rashi is explaining that even when they were still in Choron before they ascended to Israel, they were involved in converting those around them. Furthermore, the Torah is telling us that bringing one close to Hashem is considered if they acquired them.
We need to understand Rashi’s use of the word “converting.” Hashem would not give the Torah to the Jews for another ten generations. Until that time, the obligation was to perform only the seven Mitzvos, which Hashem gave to all of humankind. It would seem that the idea of conversion did not exist yet.
To explain this, Rashi writes that Avrom and Sorai brought them “under the wings of the Shechinah.” They brought these “converts” to believe in Hashem and to worship Him alone.
Each of us must follow Avrom’s example by leaving our environment and going to “the land which I (Hashem) will show you. We must also strive to bring those around us closer to Hashem. Then, just as Avrom went to the Promised Land, so too will we go to Eretz Yisroel together with our righteous redeemer.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 5, p. 142 ff.
DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE
מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש
IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morri
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris
חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס
. Our Parshah, 12:1.
. Ibid, ibid, 4.
. Ibid, ibid, 5.
. There are several Mitzvos which the Jews also fulfilled before the giving of the Torah. These are mentioned explicitly in the Torah. One such example is circumcision.