Friday, September 21, 2007

Yom Kippur thoughts

One of the Torah portions read on Rosh Hashonah deals with Hagar, Abraham's bondswoman, and their son, Ishmael.

After the birth of Isaac, Sarah demands that Abraham send the two of them away. So he gives Hagar some food and water and sends them out to the wilderness. They run out of water, and Hagar hides Ishmael behind a bush and goes away so she might not see her son die. It is very affecting to read about this mother's distress.

At the last minute, a well appears and Hagar is able to draw water and give it to the child, and he survives. Legend has it that he is the ancestor of the Arabs.

His descendants have been at our throats ever since then. Did God know what he was doing?

Sometimes I think it would have been easier if Ishmael had just, well, not survived.

It's an uncharitable thought. I guess I should repent for thinking this.

Just a thought for Yom Kippur.

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