Do Not Oppress the Stranger

Do Not Oppress the Stranger

Oct 23, 1993 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Lekh Lekha

As my bar-mitzva parasha, Lech Lecha has always carried a special measure of meaning for me. It marks the beginning of Jewish history with a story of exile. “The Lord said to Abram, `Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you'”(Gen. 12:1). And so did the Schorsch family, millennia later in December of 1938 from Nazi Germany. I even bear the name of Abraham’s son Isaac, born in this same parasha. Yitzhak is a joyous name filled with hope and affirmation. It means “he shall laugh.” For Abraham, Yitzhak signified the capacity of having a child in old age in a strange land. For my parents, Yitzhak bespoke an act of defiance in dark times. Faith has the power to shape reality, as it is said of Abraham in our parasha: “And because he put his trust in the Lord, He reckoned it to his merit” (Gen. 15:6). In short, my bar-mitzva in 1948, some eight years after we arrived in America, linked my life forever with Lech Lecha.

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Lekh Lekha

Lekh Lekha

Jan 1, 1980

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
Why declare, O Israel,
“My way is hid from the Lord,
My cause is ignored by my God”?

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Lekh Lekha

Lekh Lekha

Jan 1, 1980

1 The Lord said to Abram, Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

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