Abraham’s 3 Perfections

Dani Roth: At the beginning of Lech Lecha, God told Avram  (Abraham) to leave his country, birthplace, and the house of his father. So there must be importance to each of them as it mentioned all 3.

Rabbi: I think Rabbi Chait said that each word refers to another psychological identification. A person has an identity with 1) his current country, 2) his birthplace, and 3) and his father's house. The question is how to define each one’s unique significance.

A country refers to one's specific culture; one identifies with one’s family and neighbors, and lacks identification with other cultures and countries. We naturally value and like what is common; it’s a natural psychological truth. God designed us this way as this fosters local peace.

We also give great importance to our birthday—our existence—and where our birth took place. People feel they're the most important person on the planet; they attribute great importance to the date and place of their birth. And finally, we identify with our parents.

God instructed Avram to detach himself from these three sources of identification, because there is no importance to the accidental place of your upbringing, what place you were born or who was your father.  What was important for Abraham and God's plan, was the spread of monotheism and where Avram was living currently, was not suitable for this goal. For in all three identifications, one’s focus is the self: “Where I grew up, where I was  born, and my father.” But God's plan for Avram was not that he remain in central focus, for one who pursues God views himself as dust: “[Avram said] I am but dust and ashes” (Gen. 18:27). Leaving a land where one retains identification with the self, and relocating to a new unfamiliar location, allowed Avram to abandon his self-focus, to gain greater focus on God, and to teach monotheism.