Secondary Source: Circles of Attachment

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Secondary: Circles of Attachment

Haktav Vehakabala
Nehama Leibowitz:   from Studies in Bereshit, pp.113

“לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ”
“get you out of your country, and from your birthplace, and from your father’s house…”

Scholars have spoken about the unusual order of ‘leaving’ here. The verse should have read, in the ordinary way: “מבית אביך, ממולדתך ומארצך” (from your father’s house, your birthplace and from your country.”) This is the logical sequence, since a person first leaves home, then his place of birth and then his country.

The commentary הכתב והקבלה (Haktav Vehakabala)* suggests that there we are referring to a spiritual rather than physical withdrawal, beginning with more distant connections and ending with the most personal. Leaving your place of birth is not so hard as cutting the connection to your family. First, therefore, Abraham was told to cut his connection with his country, then his city and finally the most intimate bond, that of home.

*Haktav Vehakabala was written by Rabbi Yaakov Tzevi Mecklenburg, a German Jewish scholar of the 19th century. Rabbi Mecklenburg served as Rabbi of Koenigsburg, East Prussia for 35 years (1831-65). Haketav Vehakabbalah was first published in 1839.

Nehama LeibowitzNehama Leibowitz -1905-1997, was a famous Israeli Bible scholar who developed a particular style of Bible study that was very popular around the world.

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