Thursday, October 29, 2009

PARSHA - Lech L'cho - Yitzchok/Yishmoel

In this week's Torah portion, Lech Lecha, when Abraham was told by G-d that Isaac would be born, he already had Ishmael. Abraham would have been satisfied with just one son, if that son followed the ways of G-d.

G-d however, explained that the Jewish people would be perpetuated through Isaac and his true nachas (satisfaction) would come from Isaac.

Ishmael's birth was a natural phenomenon.

Isaac's birth was a miracle. It was impossible for Abraham and Sara to have a child at such an advanced age. Yet, Isaac was born.

Ishmael was 13 years old when he was circumcised. At the age of 13 a person's intellect is already well established. At 13, Ishmael agreed to connect himself to G-d.

The circumcision of Isaac, on the other hand, was performed when he was only 8 days old. One cannot obtain an infant's permission and it is precisely then that this eternal bond with G-d that can never be erased, was effected.

Judaism cannot be based solely on the foundations of human understanding. If, as a more mature individual, that person were to encounter a new set of circumstances there is no predicting how he will react. The basis of his Judaism -- his own understanding -- is deficient.

Hence G-d told Abraham that his true nachas would come from Isaac.

Judaism is not based on the foundations of nature. The connection between the Jew and G-d transcends nature entirely; it is an eternal bond that endures forever.

From the moment of birth one must inculcate the infant with Judaism that transcends the bounds of nature. A child thus educated will bring us true nachas!

Candle lighting time for L.A. is 5:45 pm Shabbat Shalom!