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Listen to Sarah - Disconnect to connect

Friday, 22 October, 2021 - 6:23 am

Nate Burleson is a TV host who recently interviewed his daughter about social media use. A community member mentioned the interview to me and how apropos that it’s connected to this week’s Torah portion.

As a parent, the main question asked when making rules and boundaries etc. with your child is, what is best for this child?

Sarah and Avraham had a child named Yitzchak. His older half-brother Yishmael seemed to be a potentially negative influence on him. Sarah demanded of Avraham to expel Yishmael, along with his mother Hagar, from the household. Avraham had initial misgivings. However, G-d told him: "Whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her voice!"

As an adult, I too have negative influences in my life and my time. I give myself reasons and misgivings as to why I should continue to use them.

Avraham had holy reasons as to why Yishmael should remain at home. However, in this situation, G-d told him to listen to Sarah.

When we have a negative influence in our lives, or in our children’s lives, we need to listen to the Sarahs in our lives.

According to the Kabbalah, Sarah embodied the divine attribute of Malchus (royalty). In a nutshell, Malchus is the ability to take the original intention and transform it into the final manifestation. To take the huge idea and narrow it down to a meme fit for social media, while including the entire idea. When Malchus says get rid of it, that is the voice you should listen to.

How do you tap into your Malchus? Humility and listening. G-d tells Avraham to listen to her voice. Don’t just “hear her out”, listen and pay attention. Sometimes we need to expel the negative, sometimes we need to disconnect to connect, sometimes we need to accept constructive criticism so we can grow.

I use social media less than I used to and I am blessed with people who are honest with me and tell me where I need to get better.

What can you do to disconnect to connect to expel the negative influences from your life?

Have a great Shabbos (another time we disconnect to connect),

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

Nate Burleson - Social media and its effects on youth development and mental health https://youtu.be/xvmeizvQILc

Video about connection and disconnection - https://youtu.be/-XiSIGPIi7s

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