Updated: Nov 6, 2019
The following D'var Torah is one of 9 "Bite Size Torah" thoughts on parshat Lech Lecha. To purchase the book with many more inspirational ideas on each parsha visit www.jproactive.com/merch.
The first commandment Hashem tells Avraham is; “לך-לך”, “Lech lecha” (go for yourself). Why couldn’t he stay put? He had family and friends around him. He was thriving! Why did Hashem want him to leave?
According to Rav Rivlin, Avraham had to make a clean break. He understood that galut (exile) would be so overpowering that it could infect future generations. Thus, the first command he had to fulfill as a Jew, was to separate & distance himself, creating a barrier, from his current toxic surroundings.
Once Avraham separated himself from his father’s house, and from his past, only then, did Hashem say, “I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you shall be a blessing.” This commandment gives us the paradigm for what we know today as “healthy boundaries”.
The Michtav M’Eliyahu writes that the word bracha (blessing) comes from the root word, “breicha” (pool), which has the ability to contain and overflow. With this definition, we recognize that the essence of bracha is that good things have the potential to overflow (but only when it is first contained with set boundaries – otherwise it’s just a puddle of water all over the ground).
Only by separating himself from all that was holding him back from reaching his fullest potential, was Avraham was able to create the structure needed for blessings to gather and overflow.
The Ramban explains that Avraham knew intuitively that Canaan would be an optimal spiritual environment to actualize his potential. He saw that Canaan would also be the perfect place to “contain” Klal Yisrael’s future blessings.
Many Jews today are blessed to live in Eretz Yisrael, and we know that Avraham’s intuition was right on the mark. With the proper boundaries set in place, Eretz Yisrael is most definitely the most conducive environment to actualize one’s potential.
 Bereshit 12:2