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University of Colorado Boulder Program in Jewish Studies

A Shabbat Nugget: Parashat Lech-Lecha

In this week’s Torah portion we are introduced to our forefather Abraham, the Torah teaches us that Abraham exemplified faith and kindness. We learn how in a world filled with worshiping idolatry, Abraham came to the realization that there is only one G-d and actually began a movement of believers in monotheism.  On the other hand, the Torah teaches us how Abraham exemplified  kindness with his incredible hospitality etc.

The question is, how can one person exemplify these two very different traits of kindness which is accommodating and faith which is uncompromising?

Perhaps the lesson here is that true faith is at times accommodating and true kindness is at times uncompromising. We can see an example of this in the incident in the Torah in which Abraham interrupts a divine encounter in order to invite guests  into his house.  On the other hand if a personal kindness will ultimately hurt the recipient or other people then it is possibly not true kindness.  The Torah is our guide to teach us how to find the proper balance.

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About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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