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Parashat Lech Lecha

What is the age limit for a person to change his course? Is there that limit?

Many times you have heard a phrase like: "at my age, I can no longer change", or talking about a third party: "at your age, I can not ask you to change."

Parashat Lech Lecha presents us with an Abram who, at an advanced age, decides to break away from what is not properly accommodated in his life and which must be changed. According to the Midrash, Abram breaks with his father's idols with early 75 years old. And as we know, it was exactly from that event that his life took a different course. The most interesting, most intense and most fruitful part of his life was, precisely, from that advanced age and on.

In the case of our patriarch, it was not a real act of rebellion, according to the story, but it was precisely the words that give title to the parashah, and nothing less than the "mouth" of God, that caused this change: LECH LECHA, which we translate as GO FOR YOU.

It was not a simple call. It was a call that came with promise, as we continue to read: "and I will make you a great people, and I will bless you and make your name great and you will be a blessing."

This amount of blessings almost piled up one after another are what gave the push, so that an Abram, seemingly comfortable, left that state and gave free rein to his spirit of seeking the new, abandoning all the material well-being that he had until then.

In Rashi's interpretation, it is precisely the Creator who gives him the security that Abram needed in the face of this uncertainty of the unknown. Of migrating to an uncertain, and finally empty land, with nothing more than a new voice that resounded within him and that promised him a promising future for himself and his descendants.

In the vision of the biblical hexegetes, when one goes on a trip, there are three things that are affected: the possibility of procreating, the wealth of the traveler in question decreases, and his name is hurt, since he becomes an unknown in the new land, even though he was someone renowned in his homeland.

The Kadosh Baruch Hu in the act of filling Abram with blessings, offers him the antidote for these deficiencies: I will make you a great town (even when traveling, and without knowing the end of it, the power to procreate is difficult); and I will bless you (materially, despite starting from scratch in an unknown land); and I will make your name great (it will not be necessary to remember what kind of name I had before. From that moment I would forge a new name, great, enormous and blessed).

Any new path to take is difficult, delicate and fraught with uncertainty. And the fear that usually invades us is that the cost we'd pay due to the change is higher than the benefit.

Abram shows us that it is not too late to seek that change. That it is always preferable to "move", attending to our deepest concerns than to remain static without questioning the reality that we live. That it is possible to travel new paths, even in the face of fears, and probe new searches, new destinations, new Cnaan, new horizons, even when our well-being and our resistance invite us not to innovate.

Taking advantage of the turning points in our lives is part of the challenge.

Abram had his particular and special guide. He became Abraham, in the promise that he would become Av Hamon Goyim, father of many peoples... and he changed his life.

We have the opportunity to see the change that the audacity to cheer up could produce in him. May this allow us to review in each one of us what we can twist or improve by betting on a change in our lives personally or in the family or in the Community. May we take risks to make our lives and our Community, engines of change to influence more and more people to generate better lives in a better world in the kingdom of God.

Gustavo Geier


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