Our Journey of Faith

Yael Eckstein  |  October 11, 2021

Desert road

The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” — Genesis 12:1

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Lech Lecha, which means “go to yourself,” from Genesis 12:1–17:27.

One thing I can say about being an immigrant is that you learn a lot about yourself. When I made aliyah, immigration to Israel, as much as I was overjoyed to be fulfilling the promise and prophecy of 3,000 years, I must say, I was also pretty nervous. I had left behind everything I knew — my language, my culture, my friends and family — to a different part of the world. I would be an outsider in Israeli culture.

And it’s true. I did learn a lot about myself. Moving to a different society forces us to see ourselves in a new way. I started noticing things about my behavior and attitudes that were distinctly “American,” things that I had never noticed before I made aliyah to Israel.

But at the same time, in other very significant ways, I felt more at home in Israel than I had ever felt growing up in the United States. My Jewish identity was able to flourish like never before.

Our Journey of Faith

This dual experience of feeling that I was finally home and that I was a slowly adjusting foreigner at the same time taught me a lot. I was able to really look at myself and see what parts of me I really identified with, and what was just a product of my surroundings.

I believe that this is what God meant when He told Abram Lech lecha, which is usually translated simply as “Go” or “Go forth.” But the Hebrew says something more.

Lech means “go.” Plain and simple. The second word, lecha means “for yourself,” or “to yourself.” Most English versions of the Bible don’t even bother translating it. But the Hebrew is right there. God was telling Abram, Lech lecha — “Go toward your true self.”

Abram’s journey to the Promised Land was not just a geographical journey from one place to another. It was a journey to find himself, to get to know who he really is. And that is our journey of faith as well. The journey of faith is a search for who we really are. And if we follow the voice of God, like Abram, we will reach “the land that I will show you.”

Your Turn:

Think back on the journey of your life. Do you see how God showed you your own true self through your journey of faith?