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Dvar for Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

In Parshat Lech Lecha, Avraham is sent to Canaan, but then has to head to Egypt due to a famine, and after an ordeal with Paroh where he was rewarded with much wealth, the Passuk (verse) tells us that Avraham went home the same way he came (13:3). Rashi explains that he headed home the same way he came so he could pay the innkeepers for his initial stay since he couldn’t afford to pay them his first time there.

Rav Pam adds that although Avraham gained much wealth while in Egypt, he maintained the same standard of living, although he could have upgraded to nicer lodgings on his way back.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks discusses why Avraham was selected to be the progenitor of Judaism and argues that it was his willingness to think outside the box when it came to the order of the universe and our place within it. One could argue that remaining modest despite accumulating great wealth is another such example of a different approach to life and wealth. Avraham let his actions be guided by justice, rather than by desire and ability. Avraham didn’t let wealth or surroundings affect his thoughts or actions. We too would be wise to let our actions be dictated by what we should rather than what we could.

Shlomo Ressler