The Addicts of Haran

Lech Lecha

by Morris Dweck


The last resort when it comes to drug addicts is change. If a person relapses a couple of times he is usually told to change everything. He must change the people around him, the places around him and the things around him. This is because the body tries to fight off the affects of drugs, even before the drugs get into our system. Once this person is surrounded by familiar things the body anticipates a drug session and counteracts the drug effects before the actual drugs are ever introduced. That is why it is so important for drug addicts to change their people, places and things.


This same remedy of change is prescribed for Abram in this week’s parasha. God tells Abram to leave his land (places), his relatives (people) and his father’s house (things). I believe that God instructed Abram to do so in order to form a pure nation. The land of Haran was tainted in Avoda Zara. Avoda Zara is like a drug, and is able to penetrate all aspects of a person's life. Take materialism for example. I can safely say that materialism has become integrated into New York City. So much so that it manifests itself in the land, the people and the things associated with it.  After all in contains the first and third largest business districts in the United States. When it comes to Avoda Zara and false notions that we have, we must do more than look the other way. We must uproot ourselves and surround ourselves with true ideas. Abram had to leave a land of Avoda Zara and start his own place. This new place would be surrounded by the necessary people and  ideas, that would be conducive for starting The Nation of Israel.

© Kol Israel Congregation