To my dear son and daughter
“Lech Lecha – Go for yourself” is recorded as one of the first commands which Hashem gave to Avram to test his loyalty. Indeed it is rather difficult for a person to pick up all of his belongings and leave his home, family and possessions for a foreign land. Yet, Rashi comments on this command that Avram was told to “go” for his own benefit and his own good; and lets bear in mind that Avram wasn’t so keen on being around his idolatrous home and he must have certainly been ostracized by the people around him. How then could “Lech Lecha” really serve as a “test of loyalty”?
The Baal Haflaa offers an insightful answer. He says that two verses later the Torah asserts,
“So Avram went as Hashem had spoken to him…”.
Avram did not venture to Canaan for his own benefit, rather the Torah tells us that he went to Canaan because “Hashem had spoken to him” to do so; he went to fulfill the commandment of Hashem. Therefore the test was to see what Avram’s intent would be for going to Canaan; naturally one would think that Avram would go because it made sense, but the Torah testifies that Avram went because Hashem told him to go and he would obey Hashem’s command.
As a Chayal/Chayelet, there are many places you are commanded to “Go”, many of which are unpleasant and many are challenging, but if you remember that regardless of where you go and the difficulties you encounter, that you are going to help Am Yisrael and to secure Eretz Yisrael, “as Hashem had spoken to him…”, then you will overcome. You will find the inner strength to fulfill the commandment of Hashem as Avram did before you.
With love and admiration