Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Chayei Sarah

Yitzchak and Rivka Build a Family

Death is not only tragic for those intimately affected it also always poses problems of succession and reorganization of the family, company or institution. Avraham and Sarah, the founders of the Jewish nation pass from the scene in this week’s parsha. They are succeeded by Yitzchak and Rivka and in fact the majority of the parsha concerns itself with how Yitzchak marries Rivka and they establish their new home together.

In personality, temperament and action Yitzchak and Rivka differ markedly from Avraham and Sarah. Whereas Avraham and Sarah devoted themselves to reaching as many outsiders as they could and were actively engaged in spreading the idea of monotheism in the surrounding society, Yitzchak and Rivka seem to take a more conservative approach. They attempted to consolidate what they accomplished and to build a family nation rather than to try to attract more strangers to their cause.

As we will see in next week’s parsha the struggle of Yitzchak and Rivka is an internal family struggle as how to raise Eisav and Yaakov and guarantee the continuity of the ideas and beliefs of Avraham and Sarah through their biological offspring. Eventually it is only through Yaakov that Avraham and Sarah continue and become the blessing that the Lord promised that they would be. The world struggle that engaged Avraham and Sarah becomes a struggle within Avraham and Sarah’s family itself.

It becomes abundantly clear that the main struggle of the Jewish people will be to consolidate itself and thus influence the general world by osmosis, so to speak. The time of Avraham and Sarah has passed and new times require different responses to the challenges of being a blessing to all of humankind.

There are those in the Jewish world who are committed to “fixing the world” at the expense of Jewish traditional life and Torah law. Yet the simple truth is that for the Jewish people to be effective in influencing the general society for good there must be a strong and committed Jewish people. King Solomon in Shir Hashirim warns us that “I have watched the vineyards of others but I have neglected guarding my own vineyard.”

The attempted destruction and deligitimization of the Jewish people or the State of Israel, God forbid, in order to further fuzzy, do-good, universal humanistic ideas is a self-destructive viewpoint of the purpose of Judaism. Without Jews there is no Judaism and without Judaism there is no true moral conscience left in the world. Therefore it seems evident to me that the primary imperative of Jews today is to strengthen and support Jewish family life, Jewish Torah education and the state of Israel.

We are in the generations of Yitzchak and Rivka and therefore we have to husband our resources and build ourselves first. We have as yet not made good the population losses of the holocaust seventy years ago! If there will be a strong and numerous Jewish people then the age of Avraham and Sarah will reemerge. The tasks of consolidation of Jewish life as represented by the lives of Yitzchak and Rivka should be the hallmark of our generation as well.

Shabat shalom.

Rabbi Berel Wein


Crash course in Jewish history

Rabbi Berel Wein- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com


 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Rebuilding the Temple with Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Ramban: Why was Parshas Nedarim given over specifically to "Roshei haMatos?"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

The Reuven/Gad Syndrome
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

ArtScroll

With A Kiss
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Appropriate Response
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

A Fresh Look – at Life
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

> 17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Delivery From G-d Through Your Mouth
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Hashem's Will - Protest or Submission
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Following Instructions!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Motivational Techinque
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Where Have You Been?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Listen to the Mussar
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Crossover Holiness
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Why Should We Remember?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

His Way is the Right Way
Shlomo Katz - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information