Lech Lecha: My Lech–Lecha Moment

Like the runner who rises to emotional heights each time he feels a cramp and keeps on moving, the person of faith becomes ecstatic every time something difficult happens…

3 min

Dovber HaLevi

Posted on 25.08.22

The psychologist's jaw dropped. In all his years of practice, nobody ever said that before.


And the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you" (Genesis 12:1).


"Dov don't worry. This is just routine. You have interviewed with all of the relevant personnel and they have enough to make a decision. I am an occupational psychologist. My job is to make sure that emotionally, you will fit in with everyone."


He was so relaxed when he said this. He shut the door, opened the window a crack, and instantly created an atmosphere of trust. His questions started out lightly. We talked about my family, my children, and our decision to live in Israel.


Then he glided to my parents. Slowly but surely he dissected me like motionless frog. In a short time, he was able to grab the innermost part of my being, put it on the table and say:


"Here. This is you. Now tell me, what do you think?"


I have had other meetings with psychologists for work related purposes. I have also had friends analyze me. When I saw myself, I usually felt embarrassed, ashamed, and disappointed.


This time it was different. My answer came straight from the heart:


"Asaf, I am happy. My wife is happy. Baruch Hashem, our children are happy. We love our lives."


In all his years of practice, he never heard this before. People say, "I'm not crazy." "I feel fine." "There is nothing wrong with me." Or even, "yeah, I could use a little help." But never a direct declaration that "I am happy…"


He froze for a few seconds, then left the office. A few minutes later he returned.


"You can go. The CEO will now see you."


Rav Shalom Arush has just added career consultant to his list of accomplishments. Emuna has officially conquered the workplace.


Happiness has little to do with money. It doesn't even have much to do with comfort. Some of the happiest people derive their greatest joy in taking three times their body weight and grinding it into their knees a thousand times per hour. They're called joggers. They delight in fighting their body's urge to stop and take a rest. The more their body tires, the greater satisfaction they get in pushing themselves to their limit and beyond.


That's happiness.


At the time I wrote this, I didn't have a job. Still, I was happy. I was in a situation where Hashem had pushed me to the threshold of my mental and emotional limits. Thank You G-d!


This was my Lech Lecha moment.


Lech Lecha means go unto yourself. G-d Himself tells us what we must do to discover who we truly are. We must leave the land we were born in. We must part from the only world we've even known: the person our parents see us as. Only in jumping out of our own bodies can we truly meet who we really are. 


Acting under pressure gradually pulls you out of yourself, and forces you to constantly create a new person who is always fighting for something. Faith is understanding that pressure or hardship of any kind is from Hashem, and for a purpose.


Faith can only be found in hardship. Exactly like the runner who rises to emotional heights each time he or she feels a cramp and keeps on moving, the person of faith becomes ecstatic every time something difficult happens and he responds with excitement that Hashem took the time and effort to do something just for him.


Faith is the foundation for happiness, and hardship is the foundation for faith.


For a Jew the ultimate faith is found in Israel, the universal bulls-eye for trials and tribulations. Only in a place with such personal challenges can we build up our faith to the point of pure joy under any circumstance. Only in this place can we be distracted into breaking free from our antiquated shell.


Lech – leave. Lecha – unto yourself. The forces Hashem creates in the Land of Israel lead us to the place we've be searching for our entire lives: facing up to who we are, and once and for all noticing the huge smile in the mirror.



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Dovber Halevi runs the website www.proudlycandid.com. On it you can find 1,001 Reasons to Love Israel.

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