Thursday, October 25, 2012

Come on Over! - Lech Lecha 2012

The focus on the story of Abraham begins with this week's Torah Portion, Lech Lecha. We learn about Abraham, the first Jew, that he was a master of hospitality it was what he did best. This is touted as being a big deal, but is it really? Let's think about it for a moment. Judaism is all about building relationships. Religions in general are about this, the word "religion" is itself related to the word "ligament" and so connection are part of the definition of what religion does. In Judaism we understand that we are most fulfilling God's wishes for us when we are able to offer concern and care to others in our actions, and be able to do so in a way that is not tainted by any egotism or any other unhealthy motivations, but to do it with a whole heart, in a way that enriches us as much as it helps the other. Hospitality, then, at its best, is a mitzvah that is all about this. What else are you doing but taking on the needs of some other person when you show them hospitality? That Abraham was so good at this should only stand to reason. It was a reflection of who he was in all his relationships, with other people as well as with God. We would do well to learn from Abraham's example, whether or not we have guests over! Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Benson

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