Do you ever try to… picture the Parsha?  To envision the scenes of the weekly Torah-portion in vivid detail?  To imagine yourself walking right among the great Biblical figures who once walked the earth?  Or, have you ever literally walked in their footsteps?

I was very fortunate to once travel to Israel with relatives in honor of a special occasion.  My experiences there forever touched me and I am grateful to G-d and my relatives every day.  Some of the most overwhelming moments was having the opportunity to literally walk where our ancestors once did.  Where they lived, inspired, lead, taught, built, and dreamed.

Join me as we PICTURE THE PARSHA.  Together.


In the parsha of Lech Lecha, Avraham asked his nephew Lot to separate from him when their respective shepherds began to quarrel over a question of Lot’s ethics.  Lot selected the fertile Jordan Plain and its cities, such as Sodom, in which to establish himself.  Avraham, his kin, assured him his space but would always be ready to come to his aid.  Indeed he later did.  For a period of 12 years, Sodom and 4 of its sister-cities served King Kederlaomer of Eilam, and in the 13th year they mutinied.  Kederlaomer and his 3 allies sought to quell the rebellion.  The 9 warring kings had gathered in Emek HaSidim, which eventually became the Salt (Dead) Sea.  In their way to confront the rebels, the 4 subjugators attacked any other nearby nation whom they suspected were complicit.  One such site was home to the Emorites, called Chazazon Tamar, which Rashi identifies as Ein Gedi.  When Avraham discovered Sedom, his nephew Lot among them, were captured, he mobilized his men to battle Kederlaomer’s cohort.  Avraham prevailed, driving away the 4 kings, saving the 5, and restoring their captive people and spoils.  

When I was in Israel, I visited the valley of the Dead Sea, or Yam Hamelach; and we also passed Ein Gedi, where visitors can bathe in its natural springs.


The Dead Sea Valley (Jordan on the horizon)

Scene of the highway slithering down into the valley

Dead (Salt) Sea

Dead (Salt) Sea, viewed from atop Masada; Jordan is on the horizon

Dead (Salt) Sea, viewed from atop Masada; Jordan is on the horizon

Dead (Salt) Sea, viewed from atop Masada; Jordan is on the horizon

PROOF that I was at the lowest point on earth!

Flowers at Ein Gedi – Gedi Spring

Natural growth at Ein Gedi – Gedi Spring, also called Chazazon Tamar. Tamar means “date palm” – maybe those trees are date palms?!

Lush plants at Ein Gedi – Gedi Spring