Last week, I told you that our Haftarot sometimes have obvious links to their parashah, and sometimes they have tenuous ones. Lech Lecha, like Noach (last week), is on the more obvious end of the spectrum:
Isaiah also emphasizes relationships, both with fellow humans and with God. In 41:6-7, he states: "Each person helps another, saying to a neighbor, 'Take courage!' The woodworker encourages the blacksmith; the one who flattens with the hammer [encourages] the one who pounds the anvil." Just a few verses later, Isaiah adds:
"Fear not, for I am with you... I strengthen you and I help you" (10). And those two verses are brought together when God then states: "I will help you... thresh mountains to dust" (14-15). In other words, our ability to work the earth, to till the soil, to feed and nurture our families and communities - THAT is a sign of God's favor and partnership. But in return, we must be good partners and not waste, wantonly destroy, or callously ignore dangerous warnings. Think of it this way, if we only fed our bodies junk food, never slept enough, and didn't exercise, we all know we would see signs of deterioration, illness, and pain in ourselves. How can we ignore those same signals from our planet, in the form of rising temperatures, convulsions of the ground, and other natural disasters?
Abraham is, in many ways, God's first human partner. God tried with Eve & Adam and then with Noah and his family, but ultimately Abraham is the first reciprocal PARTNER, and the one who enters into a covenant with God.
Hazon and Greenfaith. I encourage you to think about what Relationship and Responsibility mean to you, and how you embody them in your own life. Oh, and I have a hunch you'll see those two themes returning - interwoven or standing alone - in many more blog posts to come.
Photos in this blog post: