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Lech Lecha: Where are you going?

Where are you going? When was the last time you asked yourself this question? Inherent in the human psyche is the desire to journey. Human beings are not content with where we are, we always strive to go places. Indeed “Where do you want to go today” was once the title of Microsoft’s global advertising campaign. The obvious question is: Where should we be going? Which direction is the way forward? If life is about clearly defined objectives, then what should those objectives be? The response to this - mankind’s timeless dilemma - lies in first verse of this week’s Torah portion. It is in fact the first time that G-d addresses the Jew and in the opening sentence He maps out the entire journey of the Jewish People. “G-d said to Abram, Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you”. (Genesis 12:1) This verse is loaded with infinite layers of insight. The mystics, and in particular the Chabad Chassidic Masters, have continuously attempted to unpack its meaning. For it is in these few words that G-d instils a sense of direction into mankind. First and foremost a journey in the right direction entails a constant movement beyond our comfort zone. No day can be void of exertion. Yesterday’s success becomes the baseline for tomorrow’s journey. However, exertion needs direction and purpose. Our sense of direction is initially formed by what we leave behind. We must constantly move beyond our selfish instincts. Instincts that either come naturally to us or ones we may have adopted from our exposure to societal influences. In doing so we begin to discover our true destination in life. Every step taken away from our “selfish” impulses is a step closer towards our “selfless” core which is the true identity of every Jew. The greatest journey in life is the journey into “infinity and beyond”. It is the journey to discover our true identity. In fact, all of life’s trials and tribulations are placed in our paths so that we will have greater clarity into who we are and where we are going. Discover yourself. Be true to yourself. This is the journey of life. It is also the destination.

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