Lech L’cha

lekh-lkha-indexGenesis 12:1−17:27

D’var Torah By: Edwin C. Goldberg

Answers Are Important, But Questions Matter More

Who’s there?” is the first thing we read in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It encapsulates the topic of the entire play. “Where are you?” is the first question asked by God in the Torah (Genesis 3:9). From a metaphysical point of view, it captures the topic of the entire Bible. Paying attention to questions is a clever way to get to the heart of any matter. As the physicist Isaac Rabi used to recall, when his mother greeted him at the end of the school day, she always asked, “Did you ask good questions?”

In his excellent business primer, Leadership Without Easy Answers, Ron Heifetz defines leadership as the ability to ask the right questions. This week’s Torah portion, Lech L’cha, gives us the chance to ponder Abraham’s leadership potential and why God chooses him to begin the enterprise that will lead to Judaism and the Jewish people.