Where Every Jew is Family

Jews Did it First


This week shows us the life of the first Jew in human history, Abraham our father and it’s so exciting!

In the first Torah portion, things start out great, but ends with the expulsion from the Eden and Cain and Abel. Last week, we had the flood and the tower of Babel.  But every day this week, we follow the adventures of Abraham as he travels to the holy land, becomes fabulously wealthy, has major military victories.

And it ends off with the promise of Isaac, the first person born a Jew!

One reason for the excitement is because of a talmudic dictum, ma’aseh avot siman l’banim, loosely translated, the stories of our ancestors are a sign for us.  Everyone likes feeling nostalgic.  When we think about great things that happened to us in the past or to our ancestors, it gives us a good feeling and a sense of pride.

All the more so when it’s Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  They are the backbone of the Jewish people.  The events of their lives aren’t just great history, but show us and guide us in our daily lives.

One such story is the saving of Abraham’s nephew, Lot.  Lot was, shall we say, not your model Jewish citizen.  He enjoyed the “hedonism” of Sodom and Gammorah and parted ways with Abraham.

However, when he was captured in a war, Abraham single-handedly defeated his enemies to save him.

We all have that cousin, uncle, sibling, etc. that we just don’t get along with. Whether it’s because we can’t see eye to eye on ANYTHING or because that did something we find unforgivable. Abraham and Lot teach us that when push comes to shove and they really need you, you need to be there for them.  In fact, even if it’s just a regular Tuesday, you should be there for them.

Okay, so they’ve done x, y or z.  And what, you’re so perfect?  This is what “love your fellow as yourself” is all about. It’s the Golden Rule.  We are all brothers and sisters since G-d is our Father.  So try giving that estranged family member (otherwise known as your fellow Jew) a friendly call.

Speaking of first Jews and the golden rule, I’d like to announce the launch of my new podcast, Jews Did it First, available on itunes, google play, stitcher and facebook!  In fact, the fist episode is called, “The Golden Rule,” so check it out!

I’ll be going through various items in literature, philosophy, law, ethics, mythology and more and show how there’s so much that stem from Jews and Judaism.  Please, check it out, subscribe and leave a review!

Have a great week!
~Rabbi Yossi

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