Shabbat Commentary

19/20 Oct : Lech Lecha: Shabbat comes in 5:44 pm,  ends  6:44 pm

Kerouac’s On the Road, Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, Conrad’s Lord Jim. Our forty years of wandering. Such journeys resonate through time, and stay with us.

A relationship is a journey.  In a healthy one we problem-solve; we integrate the conflict. I can’t imagine Avraham divorcing Sarah for being infertile, or Sarah leaving him because he is too old.  They never say: “This is too hard. Forget this.”  Avraham realises early on that he is a driving force for God. It is his responsibility to take step after step…to rise rung after rung…to a place where he can fulfil his divine work here on earth.

Yet Avraham is not described in the Torah as is Noah, “righteous man for his generation” (Gen. 6:9).  According to our sages, this poses a question. Why is Avraham not being introduced with some praise?   I think that if he was already so very righteous he would have a shorter path to travel.  But no, he has a long journey.  Avraham can keep moving forward and transforming, step after step, and so can we.

Written by Rabbi Paul Arberman




October 18, 2018