“Go forth, from your land, your birthplace, your father’s house…” (Breisheet 12:1)
The order of God’s command would seem to be reversed.
A person would normally leave those he is closest to. In our case, he would leave his father’s household, then his extended family unit and then his country. But the verse has it the opposite.
The suggested answer our Holy Torah instructs us to resolve this seeming difficulty is that the order deals with how to toss aside the bad desires and wrong character traits that we get caught up in so as to distance ourselves from them. In essence, Avraham’s trip is also a spiritual one, a guide for us for all generations.
Avraham, and we, are first told to exit ourselves from those traits most easiest in that they are the furthest from our normative behavior and that would be in the category of “country”. And then the more “usual” bad traits need to be worked on and those are in the category of “family”.
The most difficult, those that we are so used to that they have become second-nature, are comparable to what we picked up ‘at home’.
The verse has set before us a path and a guide how to reform, how to return and to make it easier for us, the order is from the ‘outside’ to the ‘inside’.
May we all succeed along the roads we have chosen for ourselves.
Tzvi Hirsch HaCohen of Rimanov (1778-1846) in Be’eirot HaMayim
Printed in 1894
His yahrtzeit is 30 Cheshvan
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