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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash


Updated: Oct 13, 2021

In Parshat Lech Lecha, Avram is asked by God to make a journey to a land he does not know.

And so begins journey upon journey. En route to the land promised by God are many side journeys, each presenting Avram with challenges. Perhaps Avram's motto should have been to expect the unexpected, for this is what happens when one journeys far from home.

Avram, later to be bestowed with the name Avraham, is credited with being the first monotheist and we remember him to this day for his capacity to imagine, to take journeys into the unknown.

Avram is not alone in undertaking journeys during his lifetime, but the Divine nature of his journey has been written and discussed to this very day. Each of us has embarked upon our own journeys through life. Perhaps they are inspired by God, or self inspired, but each journey on our path brings us further in our own development. Perhaps this little poem, entitled "Journeys" will help us all be more aware of the journeys we have already taken and more mindful of the journeys we have yet to make.

As always, I welcome your suggestions, corrections and additions. What has been a journey of note in your own life?


There are journeys that begin us

and there are journeys that complete us.

There are journeys that are Inspired

and some journeys that are required.

There are journeys that are solitary,

there are some journeys that are best made with others.

There are some journeys that we travel to find the elusive, not knowing for what we search

and there are journeys which are personal quests.

There are some journeys we take for the sake of others

and others that we take for ourselves.

There are journeys of the feet,

and there are journeys of the heart.

There are journeys of language

and journeys of thought

journeys of plenty

and journeys of naught.

There are journeys that challenge us to our core

and journeys that anger us, that ignite us.

There are journeys of the mind,

and journeys of the imagination.

These are journeys that require no travel.

We close our eyes and are transported.

There are journeys taken for love

and journeys taken for loneliness.

There are some journeys long on words

and some journeys of profound silence.

There are journeys of courage

and there are journeys of cowardice

There are journeys that narrow us

and journeys that expand us.

Some journeys we barely remember

and some journeys we return to in our minds again and again

There are journeys that weave us into something larger than ourselves

and journeys that separate us from others.

There are some journeys that bring us far from home

and some journeys where we return.

There are journeys that we regret

and journeys that we wish that we had taken,

journeys that open doors,

and journeys that bring closure.

There are journeys we make once and they change our lives.

and there are journeys that change the course of history.

Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, at the terebinth of Moreh. The Canaanites were then in the land.

The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “I will assign this land to your offspring.” And he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.

From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and he built there an altar to the LORD and invoked the LORD by name.

Then Abram journeyed by stages toward the Negeb.

There was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.

Genesis 12:6-10 (translation from Sefaria)

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