Hope you’re having a great day!
We’ve seen that in Jewish tradition, Abraham personifies acts of kindness.
He represents Divine service.
Things like prayer. Introspection. Spirituality.
You might think of Isaac as a very big Tzadik. An extremely righteous man.
A “holy man.”
And sometimes we have a picture of such people.
That they’re very solemn. Always worried about doing the right thing.
And having no time or inclination for joy. Or fun.
And certainly not romance!
… But that’s not the Jewish picture.
Here’s what the Torah tells us about Isaac.
Something that it makes a point of mentioning.
“…enjoying himself with his wife Rebecca.” (Genesis; 26, 8)
Another translation? … Jesting with his wife…!
Yes. The “holy man!”
Because the Torah doesn’t teach that physical pleasure is wrong.
And that if you really want to be holy, stay away.
In fact we’re obligated to enjoy this world.
And sexual relations between husband and wife are not just OK.
They can be holy.
… In the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem there was a “High Priest.”
And there’s something very interesting.
The High Priest had to be married.
No bachelors. And not even a widower!
Because if the High Priest was not married?
People might think that’s the ideal. Celibacy.
And in Judaism, its not!
Great Torah scholars are always full of life!
And within the parameters of the Torah, really enjoy this world.
… I was once asked to speak at a Reform temple about traditional Judaism.
Here’s how I, an Orthodox Rabbi, broke the ice.
I asked the audience, “Who are the most romantic people in the world?”
The answers were obvious.
“The French…The Italians.”
And I said, “No! Who are the most romantic?
Jews who live their lives according to the Torah!”
(It definitely woke them up!)
Because the “restrictions” of the Torah are not meant to deprive us of pleasure.
They’re there to enhance our pleasure. To make it special.
And it works!
All the best,