Chayei Sarah

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“She went down to the spring and it rose and she filled her pitcher. And the servant ran to her, and said: ‘Please give me a little water to drink…”
~ Genesis 24:16-17

When Abraham’s servant Eliezer went to find a wife for Isaac, he prayed for the ability to recognise her true character.

Why did he run to the first woman he saw?

Because he witnessed a miracle: Rebecca didn’t lower her jug into the water, it rose up to her.

But if Eliezer saw a miracle, why did he still need to test Rebecca’s character by asking to drink?

Because great marriages are built on great character, not miracles or signs.

Vayeira

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“And God rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire, from God out of Heaven.”
~ Genesis 19:24

It’s generally accepted that life is only meaningful when our choices have consequences, even negative ones.

But why emphasise that Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction was “from God out of Heaven”?

Because it feels nicer to believe that destruction comes from random natural disasters, than from an All-Loving Father in Heaven. But truth be told, some things in life just don’t feel nice. Like punishment.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s not good for you or coming from anywhere else but God.

Lech-Lecha

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“Behold, now have I known that you are a woman of beautiful appearance.”
~ Genesis 9:20

After decades of marriage, Abraham compliments his wife’s beauty.

While this is certainly good practice for a great marriage – why only now?

Because Abraham had never before looked at Sarah like this. Their modesty and mutual-respect positioned their relationship beyond physicality.

Sadly, many newly-weds drop their guard after the chuppah, believing the commitment frees them to be ‘themselves’ and permits any behaviour. As the anniversaries go by, things only get worse.

Learn to balance being ‘yourself’ without letting yourself go.

Noach

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“And Noah, man of the earth, profaned himself and planted a vineyard”
~ Genesis 9:20

Initially, Noah is described with the accolade of “a righteous man perfect in his generation”. Yet after saving the world, he’s downgraded to the level of “man of the earth”.

What changed?

Upon leaving the ark, instead of growing the food needed to rebuild humanity, Noah planted grapes so he could get drunk. His selfish choice revealed not only his base desires, but his priorities.

Every moment offers an opportunity to point ourselves upwards or downwards. Choose the high way.