Leading Idea: Different Meanings of Lech L’cha

Download the leading idea description here:   PDF  pdf-icon

Leading Idea: Different Meanings of Lech L’cha

‘Lech l’cha’ is generally taken as an expression meaning “Go forth”. But this isn’t the only way of reading it. While Lech l’cha on its own is a command (like sit! or stop!), lech on its own means ‘go’ and l’cha’ on its own generally means ‘to you’. What might these mean when put together?

In this unit we explore the following different readings of the phrase ‘Lechl’cha’.

  1. Go forth: move forward, leave where you are (pick up your tent and go pitch it elsewhere)
  1. Go for yourself: for your own benefit, for your own material good (financial, social, etc)
  1. Go to yourself: discover yourself – go to greater self-understanding (as an inner existential journey – become aware of who you currently are, get in touch with yourself)
  1. Go to the person you will become: Go toward you’re the person you will one day be (eg, your ‘better self’ or your destiny, or the person you are striving to be – as in the joke that has a mother describing her 6yr old son as ‘my son the doctor’) – this captures the idea that we are all on a journey of self-formation, and we become who we are over time.

Each of these offers a different understanding of Avram’s journey. The resources here both provide voices from within our tradition that speak to these interpretations and resources for students to apply the distinctions in their own lives and thus to come to internalize the different meanings as resources for making sense of different kinds of ‘Lech!’ in their own lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.