Dvar Torah on Parshat Lech Lecha 5774 2013

Towards the end of the Sidra Hashem promises Avraham that Sarah his wife will give birth to a son. When Avraham heard this the Torah said: וַיִּצְחָק “…he laughed”. (Gen. 17,17), Onkelos translates this word as “rejoiced”. He was happy to hear that at his age he was still able to have a son who would carry on with his traditions.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in his Biblical commentary takes a different approach. People laugh at things that seem absurd. Avraham laughed because he was promised a son at his old age who would develop into a great nation and the hopes of the whole future of mankind would be placed on this child. To Avraham this sounded absurd that he and Sarah at their age could have such a son.

Avraham and Sarah laughed about the birth of their son and the entire world is laughing at the descendants of this son. They laugh at our beliefs. They laugh at our dreams. They laugh at our existence. They laugh at our aspirations of having a nation among the nations of the world.

Yet despite the world’s attitude towards the Jews, we have been fulfilling the hopes of Avraham, and his progeny is a leader in contributing innovations and creations that are used today by people all over the world. The Jews in proportion to their numbers have offered the world more than any other people have.


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