We’re about to start one of the most fundamental and challenging stories in the Torah.
Abraham is tested. Challenged.
The story of the Akedah. The “Binding of Isaac”. (Genesis, 22)
Abraham is told to bring his son Isaac as an offering to G-d.
Before we get to the story, a few words about challenges in life.
… The Hebrew word for a “test”?
Nisayon. Which means to be raised up.
Like a banner. Or a flag.
Why is that word used for a test?
Because as much as challenges in life are not something we look for.
At the same time, we can often grow from our challenges.
We can be “lifted up”.
We may come out stronger. More sensitive. Or more aware of our blessings.
… Think of a group of Martians visiting America.
They’ve heard all about this great place.
“The home of the free”!
Full of opportunity. Of self determination. And of pleasure.
The first place they visit?
A health club.
They look through the window and can’t believe their eyes!
People grimacing with pain. Perspiration dripping down.
Looks like they’re using their last ounce of strength.
The Martian’s response?
This is America?
There must be a guy holding a gun on them.
They’re being tortured!
… They would be shocked to find out that they’re not being tortured.
In fact, they pay good money for this!
And even though they’re in pain?
They may be happy.
Because they’re working towards a goal.
… Life is like a gym.
Sometimes we’re put on a treadmill. And can’t get off.
But if we can look at it as an opportunity for growth?
The pain doesn’t necessarily go away.
But it may be more bearable.
… My wife makes me get out of bed at 6:20 in the morning.
For forty minutes on the treadmill!
(What would the Martians think of our relationship!)
And she had a great idea.
She attached a picture of her and the kids to the treadmill.
So when after ten minutes I think I can’t go on any more?
I’m reminded of the goal!
All the best,