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Try the monkey bars

Thursday, 22 October, 2015 - 12:58 pm

2015-08-12 14.32.07.jpgHave you ever seen young children playing at a park? Notice the joy, smiles, laughter and the wail when they get a booboo? The carefree desire to try something (like monkey bars) that is beyond their age range? 

Have you ever seen a teenager at a park? The looking at the cell phone, the undecided look whether to try the monkey bars; after all what if I look clumsy?

What's the core difference between these two ages? The level of understanding.

The Torah does not waste words only to tell us some Jewish history, yet the Torah tells us all about Yishmael and Yitzchak , the children of Avraham (see more details of Abraham’s life, much of it not from the Torah's text, here).

G-d tells Abraham that Sarah will bear a child who will carry on the tradition. Avraham responds: If only Yishmael will live before You!  To which G-d says: Yes Yishmael will be blessed but I will establish my covenant with Isaac.

G-d is telling Avraham that Yishmael grew up with religion being based on logic; he serves G-d because it makes him feel fulfilled. My covenant will be established with Yitzchak whose life (even his conception) is miraculous and beyond understanding. 

This tale of two children, that the Torah shares, teaches us one of the important values of Jewish continuity; live above nature and serve G-d beyond what you can do naturally.

Yishmael and Yitzchak both were circumcised leaving an indelible mark for life connecting them with G-d. Yishmael was 13 years old and can understand why to serve G-d and Yitzchak was circumcised at 8 days, even before he understands.

Be like the 2 year old who tries the monkey bars and serve G-d one time in the next week above logic and nature. Please let me know what you did and what effect it had on you.

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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