Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Lech Lecha with Rabbi Hyim Shafner
Our guest this week is Rabbi Hyim Shafner of the Bais Abraham congregation in St. Louis, Missouri. Rabbi Shafner has Smicha (rabbinical ordination), a Masters degree in Social Work (MSW), and an MA in Jewish philosophy, all from Yeshiva University in New York City. Before coming to Bais Abraham in 2004, he served as the Campus Rabbi of the Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis for 8 years. Prior to that, Rabbi Shafner served as the community Rabbi of Bombay, India, where he and his wife, Sara Winkelman, spent a year working with the Jews of India. Rabbi Shafner is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America, the St. Louis Rabbinical Council of the Vaad Hoeir, the St. Louis Rabbinical Association, and The Chicago Rabbinical Council. He has served on the local boards of the Jewish Community Relations Council, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Fund for Human Needs.
This week's Torah portion – Parashat Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1–17:27) – features Abram's Journey to the land of Canaan, his forced departure to Egypt, his covenant with God, the birth of Ishmael, Abram's circumcision, and the changing of his name to Abraham. Our discussion focuses on the very beginning of this epic story, on the character of Abraham, on why he was chosen, and on the importance of his journey to Israel.
If you would like to learn some more about Lech Lecha, take a look at our discussion with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg.