21 Oct Why Me? Vayera 5782
All of us have tsores. Sometimes, however, we feel our load of tsores is a bit more than we deserve. “Why me,” we ask, assuming that tsores gets doled out as a punishment, and that we do not deserve it.
What if the tsores is not a punishment, but a test?
The midrash says that “when a potter wants to test vessels with a stick, which ones does he hit? The strong ones, since he knows they will not break.” It is a very weird midrash if you dig in–I will save that for Saturday. But the premise is that God intentionally tests/gives tsores not to people who deserve it, but rather to the stronger ones, to people who can withstand it.
The akeida was a miserable test–asking Abraham to sacrifice his son (according to some, both sons–he sent Ishmael off into the desert, presumably to die of thirst). It was a horrible thing to put someone through. It was not that Abraham deserved it, it was that God knew he could pass the test.
When tsores comes our way, it is not productive to ask “why me.” We likely did not deserve it. Rather, what if we see it as a test, sent because God knows we are strong enough to make it through, to excel?
Please join us this Shabbes at 10:00 (little kids 10:30) for a family friendly, musical Shabbat service, Torah discussion & kiddush lunch. RSVP helpful but not necessary (just email me if you can to let me know)
Jewish Virtual Academy (Hebrew School & Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation)
Classes are off to a great start! Our elementary students learned about the mitzvah of returning lost objects, and added a number of leaves to the class Mitzvah Tree. Our middle/high schoolers in “Torah and Today” completed the first unit, about when & how to speak up, and are now studying Jewish values related to socially responsible investing. And our Moot Court competitive team has its first meeting tonight. Please contact me if you have/know of a child interested in joining us for substantive, relevant Jewish learning!