Genesis 12:1 - 17:27

Isaiah 40:27 - 41:16

In this Torah portion, God makes a covenant with Abram promising to make his descendants a great nation. God changes Abram’s name to Abraham. Abraham has a child with Hagar and names him Ishmael. God then promises Abraham’s barren wife, Sarah, that she will have a child.


Lech-Lecha: In Praise of Holy Discomfort

A lesson in the role of discomfort in fomenting social change.

More on this Torah Portion

Lech-Lecha: A Call for Unity

What we can learn from Abraham's other child.

What Does It Mean To Be A Blessing?

Blessings are not meant to flow into us, but rather to flow through us.

Does Abraham’s Covenant Include Jewish Daughters?

How women figure into the male-oriented covenant that begins with Abraham and circumcision.

What Covenant Means

God and Abram's covenant between the pieces raises issues of conditionality and obligation still relevant today.

Beginning With The Individual

Lech-Lecha marks a transition between God relating to humankind as a collective to relating to individuals.

Go From Your Land

Before we embark on our journeys in life, we should go to ourselves and reflect.

Lament of a Barren Woman

Sarai is just one example of the biblical stigma of not being able to conceive.

Pursuing Righteousness

Changing the external to affect the internal.

For Your Own Good

Abraham's journey was for his own spiritual well-being.

The First Jewish Environmentalist

Abram models interpersonal and environmental harmony.

Shield of Abraham

Gleaning great meaning from the single word this portion gave to Jewish liturgy.

Smashing Jewish Idols

Like Abraham, who introduced a new model for relating to God and humankind, we continue to integrate social justice into religious practice.

Abram and God’s Mutual Faith

As Abram and God demonstrate, Judaism understands faith as deep trust despite doubt, confusion, and suffering.

Recognizing The Heir

Sarah's protection of Isaac and family challenge us to strengthen our families, making them the cornerstones of the covenantal community.

A Model of Unconditional Love

Abram provides us with a model for loving God and people for their own sake and not for any manifestation of that love.

Choose Harmony

There is almost always a way to maintain harmony in the face of different views, even if the solution is to agree to disagree.

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side

Like Sarah, we must realize that envy leads us to make poor choices and treat others unfairly.

Finding the Courage to Begin

Lech-Lecha: A resource for families.

Challah for Parashat Lech-Lecha

Malchitzedek bringing out challah and wine.

Haftarah for Lech-Lecha

God has not abandoned His people.

Parashat Lech-Lecha: Summary

Abram and Sarai follow God's call to journey to Canaan, where the covenant between God and Abraham is affirmed.