Friday, November 7, 2014

Child Sacrifice Then and Now

This week's Torah portion is Vayeira. 

I was thinking yesterday about the stark contrast between the Jewish vision of children and the vision of the nihilistic death cult that seeks to exterminate us. Child sacrifice is still going on around us, in many cultures, on a daily basis. They may call it something else, but that's what it is.

What better contrast than what can be found in this week's Torah portion, which is so clearly articulate by Rabbi Sacks in this outstanding D'var Torah. 

"Why then did God say to Abraham about Isaac: “Offer him up as a burnt offering”? So as to make clear to all future generations that the reason Jews condemn child sacrifice is not because they lack the courage to do so. Abraham is the proof that they do not lack the courage. The reason they do not do so is because God is the God of life, not death. In Judaism, as the laws of purity and the rite of the Red Heifer show, death is not sacred. Death defiles."

"The Torah is revolutionary not only in relation to society but also in relation to the family. To be sure, the Torah’s revolution was not fully completed in the course of the biblical age. Slavery had not yet been abolished. The rights of women had not yet been fully actualised. But the birth of the individual – the integrity of each of us as a moral agent in our own right – was one of the great moral revolutions in history. "

Hug your children tight.