This week’s Torah reading starts with G‑d’s command to Abraham: “Go forth from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.”

At this point in time Abraham and Sarah are already an elderly couple, 75 and 65 years of age respectively. But other than a few technical details about Abraham’s personal life—his birth, his family, his wife, etc.—which are mentioned in last week’s Torah portion, this is the first important bit of information the Torah tells us about them.

Abraham and Sarah’s early years were extremely productive. Abraham was raised in a pagan home and society, yet at the tender age of three he used his keen cognitive skills to conclude that there is a lone G‑d, who cannot be perceived with the physical eye, who created heaven and earth. Talmudic and Midrashic sources tell us that the local dictator, King Nimrod, gave the young boy an ultimatum: renounce monotheism, or be thrown into a fiery furnace. Courageous Abraham chose the latter, but miraculously was unharmed by the fire. Afterwards, Abraham and Sarah actively publicized their newfound beliefs, and garnered a large following of believers in monotheism. Yet the Torah chooses not to tell us of Abraham and Sarah’s illustrious youth, and instead begins recording their life story with G‑d’s command to embark on a journey.

Although Abraham and Sarah had a spiritually comfortable and fulfilling life before their journey to Israel, G‑d demanded of them to drop everything and travel on an open-ended trip, intentionally neglecting to inform them of their destination. The aged couple’s willingness to comply with this “irrational” request was more precious in G‑d’s eyes than their previous decades-long exemplary service.

Our sages tell us that “the story of the fathers is a sign for the children.” The first story the Torah relates about the first Jews is a powerful lesson for their descendants, teaching us how to approach our Jewish mission in life.

A Jew must never be comfortable with his or her spiritual standing. No matter how much has been accomplished, it is incumbent upon every Jew to embark yet further in the journey towards the Promised Land. And this journey must be open-ended. One should never set limits on personal spiritual growth. The journey must always continue; just as G‑d is infinite, so too the journey to reach Him is infinite.