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Would you like to have a son like Avraham?

Friday, 30 October, 2020 - 6:23 am

 Every year, when parashat Lech Lecha rolls around, everyone remembers Avraham and talks about him – the person who recognized his Creator all by himself when he was still a child. We tell of how he broke the idols belonging to his father, Terach. He is known as “Avraham ha’ivri” since he was always on the other side (ever) of the world. The whole world believed in and worshipped the sun, the moon, stars and idols, whereas Avraham, the father of monotheism, revealed to the world the belief in one G-d, the Creator of the World and its ruler.

As a child, I was taught how Avraham found his way independently and did not believe everything he was told. I understood even more later when I realized that he was very courageous. He was willing to question everything that he heard and saw, and he accepted only what he had figured out on his own.

But then something happened to me. My children were growing up and had reached the age at which they ask questions. And then I realized that I’m not so sure that I want a son like Avraham. I don’t want a child who will shatter all my beliefs. Actually, I prefer that a child who will not question everything that he hears and sees in his country and place of birth.

I asked a number of friends, and didn’t manage to find even one who was willing to say “Yes, I am perfectly willing that my son will take issue with everything that he hears from me, on the way to finding his own truth.” All my friends and acquaintances pray for a son like Yitzchak, who will follow their way happily, even at age 37, and it will be possible to say, “They went both of them together.” It is for that we pray earnestly.

I am still sticking to my opinion, and I assume that most of my friends are still with me in that. But – and it’s not a simple ‘but’ – is it possible that in the religious and charedi communities, and mainly as private people, parents have to be ready to give answers in case they get a son like Avraham Avinu?

Is it possible that we are facing a generation that doesn’t accept just any answer readily?

Perhaps, as parents, we have to take upon ourselves to learn what to say, when to say it and how to say it.

What do you think?

 

Shabbat Shalom,

 

Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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