God said to Abram: Go-you-forth from your land, from your kindred, from your father's house, to the land that I will let you see. (Genesis 12:1)
This opening verse to this week’s parasha includes the words that the parasha is named for, Lech Lecha, and we translate them above as “Go-you-forth”. We could just also read them as “Go to yourself”.
Journeys to other places often mean more about “finding our selves” than finding a new place. As Abram, not yet Abraham, and his family set out from home to find a new place for themselves we can hear the observation of Paul Monette: “Home is the place you get to, not the place you come from.”*
We descendants of Abraham, we journeyers, we must remember that the transformation we seek by leaving must still be found within us. We may find a home by moving, in that by moving we also change our selves. Just as the Mishnah asks us to “make for ourselves a teacher” (Pirkei Avot 1:6), so we must also make a home for our selves.
*From: Halfway Home, (New York: Crown, 1991) p. 262; Quoted by Caryn Aviv and Karen Erlichman in the collection Torah Queeries, Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, David Shneer (eds.), (New York: NYU Press, 2009), p. 24.