Avraham, pushed and pulled away from home – from a land of evil, depravity,– me’artzecha, - from your land, eretz – the expression of running, turbulence, insecurity, transience – heaving under the pull of the skies, to a land of life and serenity.
The journey of every Jew, encapsulated in Avraham’s life, played out through history and, microcosmically, every week. Six days of unsettled heaving and pushing toward a goal – Friday night
– its quietude stark in contrast with the distressed week preceding it, represented by the directive “Heed the Shabbat” leaving the week behind; and then Shabbat day – represented by “Remember the Shabbat” – the perfect place in time, the arrival, a taste of the perfect future. This holiness is achievable, accessible to all descendents of Avraham; with enough strength to extract ourselves from the six-day experience of upheaval Friday night and even more courage to be absorbed by the beauty and meaning of the Shabbat day.
This was Avraham and this is us – the constant challenge to disengage and move higher, an opportunity afforded us each week, Shabbat. Wishing you and yours a Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Shimshon Silkin