For an explanation of the methodology of this series, see the introduction.

"I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will aggrandize your name; and [you shall] be a blessing." (Gen. 12:2)

Peshat (basic meaning):"and [you shall] be a blessing": From now on, you may bless whomever you wish.

Rashi: The blessings are entrusted into your hand. Until now, they were in My hand; I blessed Adam and Noach. From now on, you may bless whomever you wish.

Remez (hinted meaning):

Baal HaTurim: This phrase has 3 blessings, corresponding to the 3 Priestly blessings. There are 3 tagin/crownlets on the letter kaf of the word "mevorachecha" (Gen. 12:3) "those who bless you", to indicate that the gematria of this kaf should be tripled, for a total of 60, to correspond to the 60 letters of the three-part Priestly Blessing, the parts beginning yevorechecha, ya'er, and yisa, in that order.

Derash (interpretive meaning): "I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you"

Targum Yonatan: Abram shall be strengthened with many blessings and I will bless the priests who will spread forth their hands in prayer, and bless your sons; and Balaam, who will curse them, I will curse, and they shall slay him with the mouth of the sword; and in you shall be blessed all the generations of the earth
G‑d now promised that fulfillment of these 3 steps would result in 3 benefits to him.
Ohr HaChayim: Since G‑d had given Abraham a 3-fold commandment, He now promised that fulfillment of these 3 steps would result in 3 benefits to him:

  1. the promise that Abraham would become a great nation was the reward for leaving his country
  2. the promise to bless Abraham and make him a great name was the reward for leaving his birthplace
  3. the promise that Abraham himself would become a source of blessing was the reward for leaving his father's home.

These 3 promises were compensation for giving up things people normally enjoy in familiar surroundings:

  1. friends
  2. degree of honor and respect in one's family
  3. their economic needs being met by their family should they fall into bad times.

When one emigrates to a foreign country, all of these are given up.

Sod (esoteric, mystical meaning): When there are righteous people in the world, blessings are sent down to all the worlds.

Zohar Lech 87:When there are righteous people in the world, blessings are sent down to all the worlds. As soon as Abraham arrived, the blessings were sent to the world, as it is written:"I will bless you, and you shall be a blessing" (Gen. 12:2). What is the meaning of, "And you shall be a blessing"? that because of his merit, blessings shall be abundant on high and down below, as it is written: "And in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed," and "I will bless them that bless you."

Yitzhak arrived and informed everyone that there is judgment and there is a judge above to punish the wicked and he awakened judgment on the world, so that all would be in awe of G‑d. Ya'akov arrived, brought mercy on the world, and perfected the faith in the world to be proper.

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
"The deeds of the fathers are signs for the children." How often we need to remind ourselves of this during our wonderful voyage through the Book of Genesis!

In this week of tiferet she'be chesed1, the Balance/Harmony/Beauty of Kindness/Giving/Expansion, we are bombarded by the 3's as described above. Three's connote thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Right, Left, and Middle. Even though we have yet to meet our fathers Yitzhak and Ya'akov, they are described to show us the perfect path, the simple pure centered way.

1) Three promises for Abraham to compensate for 3 things he gave up, as the Ohr HaChayim wrote.

(2) Yitzhak comes and shows the left side of judgment; (3) Yaakov comes to show how Rachamim/Compassion is the blend, the centering flow, the straight and Upright path, as the Zohar explained.

Three promises for Abraham are the sign for the children of Israel in the Wilderness (see Targum Yonatan above), who are blessed three-fold by the priests, (see Ba'al HaTurim above) and which we too say first thing after saying the blessings over the Torah in the morning, and to our blessed children on Friday night, as implied by Rashi.

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