10/22/2015

Shabbat Leh Leha

Candles Friday October 22 5:44pm
Havdalah 23rd 6:38pm

Kiddush in memory of Mr Molemzadeh ע״ה

Avraham is regarded as the founder of Monotheism. What makes him so remarkable is that his religious commitment did not lead him to withdraw into his own private world, but he interacted with everyone he came into contact with. Hecwas literally a man of the world. One might think that he was the equivalent of the New Age belief that love conquers all and if you accept all human beings as good everyone will love you.

Abraham clearely distinguishes between people you can deal with and those you cannot. He lives in an era of tribal warfare and climatic disasters. A famine forces him down to Egypt for food and he enters into a treaty with Pharaoh. His wife is the diplomatic pawn and when Pharoah discovers it they are “bought off” and leave. He encounters Malchizedek, a priest. He recognizes him as a good man and gives him tithes. He gets caught up in a fight between the kings of Sodom and Amora and invading kings. He succeeds in fighting off the aggressors and rescuing his nephew Lot. But he refuses any money from them, recognizing they are corrupt even though he didv accept money from Pharaoh. He will not touch tainted money. There are some people you can deal with. Others you must avoid.

It sounds strange that he is promised Divine blessing and yet he faces such human, personal and natural obstacles. No one said it would be easy. A blessing is no guarantee, only a spur to try harder to succeed.