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A Shabbat Nugget: Vayera

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner
Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

We live in a chaotic world, in which many times events occur that have great consequences and leave people physically and emotionally scarred.  What is yet more mind boggling is that many times the people that get hurt are seemingly innocent.  How can we reconcile this with the Jewish faith that teaches that G-d is controlling every detail of his creation at all times?

In this week’s portion, we read about G-d commanding Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice and how Abraham is willing to do so, until G-d tells Abraham: “I did not tell you to kill Isaac, I just said to offer him as a sacrifice, now that you have placed him on the alter you may take him down.”  The question is what was Abraham thinking when he offered Isaac as a sacrifice.  Hadn’t G-d promised him that a great nation would emerge from Isaac?  If he kills Isaac before he has any children, how would that be possible?

The answer is that man has to have the humility to realize that being that he is human, his intellect is limited.  There is a parable given of a person who came from a third world country, who knew nothing about medicine and came into a hospital and walked into an operation.  He immediately ran out screaming, “There are cannibals inside that room cutting a person up for consumption.”  In fact these doctors were saving the person’s life and the person from the thirld would county was lacking information. We too, as human beings are lacking information.  We don’t know the history of our souls before we come down to this lifetime and we don’t know the future that awaits us and even in the present, we usually don’t have the whole picture.  The Torah teaches us when we encounter something we don’t understand, we should trust that the Creator who does, sees the whole picture and has a reason for allowing it to occur.

Shabbat Shalom!

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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