Go to Your Self

פרשת לך לך
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Written by:
Rabbi Jay Goldmintz
Access editable doc with student handouts:

והנה אברהם אע"ה הי' בו ב' הענינים כי מקודם היה בכלל בני נח וקירב כל הברואים להשי"ת כפי היכולת כמאמר המדרש אחות לנו שאיחה כל באי עולם להשי"ת. והי' זה בחי' יחוד ה'. אח"כ אמר לו השי"ת לך לך פי' לבחי' המיוחדת לך שהיא אומה הישראלית המיוחדת לה' בכל המעשים והדקדוקים ע"י המצות והיא בחי' התורה שנקראת דרך כמ"ש חז"ל ע"פ אשר לא הלכו בה כו'. ואמת שזה נוהג בכל איש ישראל כמאמר חז"ל מקודם יקבל עליו עמ"ש ואח"כ עול מצות.

In this week’s parashah, Hashem tells Avraham to go on a journey, using the seemingly redundant phrase לך לך. The question raised by many מפרשים is why didn’t it just say לך? What does the לְךָ mean? 

The Sfat Emet says it means to “go to your ‘self.’” Hashem was telling Avraham, this journey you are on is not just about the benefits of going to live someplace else but rather it is about your destiny, that for which you were born. In effect, go to your place in life.[1]

While it is impossible to know now what one’s future destiny is, every year surely represents a new leg of the journey we are on. Every year, if not every day, we should hear the voice of Hashem telling us to “go to your self.” 

  1. Take a moment to reflect upon what you hope your goals are for this year for your own personal growth. Choose at least two goals to try to articulate:
    1. An academic goal:
    2. A social goal:
    3. A religious goal:
    4. Another kind of goal:
  2. Pick one goal. What do you think you can do today to take one step closer to where you want to be? Write your answer down for your ‘self’.
  3. Think about an obstacle that is getting in the way of taking that step or has gotten in the way until now. Write it down. What could you do today to begin to remove that obstacle?
  4. Share with a person beside you any one of your answers to these questions
    or share with the rest of the class any one of your answers.

Notes to the teacher

  • This is the place to make suggestions to the teacher of different ways they may choose to facilitate this limmud
  • Or particular grade levels or sensitivities to take into account
  • Or anything else you think is important for the teacher to know

עבודת המורה

  • This is the place to raise some questions that make sure the teacher tests the limmud on themselves or others
  • Could be a general question like - which part of the limmud resonated most for you? Which question was the hardest for you to answer?
  • Or questions anticipating students’ responses- What do you think students will say for X or Y? To what extent are you open to being surprised?
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Please help others by sharing how you used the resource, how you adapted it (link to your own version!) and what worked more or less well. You can also post questions that Lifnai Vlifnim staff or community members will try to respond to.

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