These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

vayera, וירא

Posted on November 2, 2010 by Eryn

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

vayera, וירא

Huge, life-changing events happen in this week’s parsha.  A city is annihilated, the smoke and ashes of its people filling the land,  an entire people are made barren and then healed by God and, the long-awaited child of Sarah and Avraham, Yitzhak, comes within in seconds of a young death, nearly sacrificed to God as a testament to Avraham’s faith.  In this parsha, the fraility of human life in relation to God is deeply felt in the countless births and deaths that occur.   However, in my seventeen syllables, I want to instead focus on a smaller, more intimate moment of encounter between God and man.

Sarah, overhearing three men promise to Avraham, that she and Avraham, in their old, withered age, will give birth to a son, laughs.  Potentially, this laugh is a laugh filled with the the pain of barrenness, of the heartache of all of the failed attempts, of a finally accepted defeat after facing the reality of her age, and a skepticism that there might still be life to give from her weakened body,  a laugh full of sorrow.

And God hears her laugh.  And in a moment of intimacy, He speaks directly to her.

i know that you laughed.
a silence. and it’s okay.
you are understood.

May we find comfort and understanding in our moments of vulnerability.

By Avi Strausberg