(Genesis 12:1-17:26)

Haftara (Isaiah 40:27-41:16)

1. [12:1]  “…leave your land and your birthplace and the house of your father…”  This pasuk could have said, “Leave your land”,  and  everything else would have been included.  What is the Torah adding by also mentioning  “your birthplace and the house of your father”?

2. [12:2] “ …and you will be a blessing.”  We understand how someone can give or receive a blessing, but what does it mean to “be a blessing”? 

3. [12:5] “…and they went out to go to the land of Canaan, and they came to the land of Canaan.”  The pasuk could have said, “They went to the land of Canaan”.  Why does the Torah add all the extra words?

4.  [13:9]  “…separate yourself from me…”   After there was an argument between Avram’s shepherds and Lot’s shepherds,  Avram decides that he and his nephew should split up.  Avraham is known for his kindness, and our tradition sees him as a very intelligent and reasonable person.  Avram and Lot could have made peace between the shepherds.  Why did they decide on such a radical step and split up?

5. [Haftara: Yeshaya 40:31]  “Those who hope in God will renew their strength…”  Is this statement saying that the reward for faith in God is that God gives strength, or is it saying that the fact that one has faith in God will give a person more strength?  How does each of these attitudes show a different relationship to God?


One can rule over one’s natural drives…in the same way as God made Avraham Avinu rule over all of his limbs.  That is to say, that God made Avraham Avinu successful in directing all his drives toward the good and the holy.

–R. A. Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel. 

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Rivkah Rochel bat Ya’akov haLevi and Chaya Kornberg, and Yechiel Eliezer ben Yitzchok Meir and Rochel Laya KornbergAnd this study page is also dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker


Mizmor LeDavid meets at the Mesorati High School, 8 Beitar Street, in the auditorium. There is another minyan that meets there, we are the one further north. Accessible from Beitar, the single gate at the bottom of the semi-circle of steps, or from the north end of Efrata Street, through the gate on the right, then turn left.

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