To develop our inner Isaac is, oftentimes, much harder than to develop our inner Abraham. We all love to go out, connect to others, launch projects and be smiles from ear to ear.Rabbi Allouche
“If you had to condense the message of Judaism into one word, what would word would you pick?”
This was the question I posed my dear mentor, world-scholar, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, just a few years ago. I thought he would say something banal, like “Torah,” or “Mitzvah,” or even, “love.”
But his brilliant answer astounded me: “consistency,” he replied without a hiccup of hesitation.
In this week’s portion, Isaac takes the center stage. Unlike his father, Abraham, Isaac did not lead any revolutions. Quite the opposite, he was a man of few words, who was defined by his silence, more than his speech. And unlike his father, who traveled the world to preach monotheism to humanity, Isaac never left the Holyland. He stayed put, and he dug wells.
As Abraham and Isaac’s descendants, we too inherited both personalities. We are called to bring out our inner Abraham and bring the word of God to every human being. We must ignite every soul we meet with kindness, spark every mind we encounter with wisdom, and set ablaze every heart we connect to with love.
But even as we journey as “Abrahams” to touch, to move, to give, and to give more; we must also stay true to our inner “Isaacs” that ‘digs wells’, focuses inward – on his values, his G-d, his family, and his soul – consistently, each and every day.
To develop our inner Isaac is, oftentimes, much harder than to develop our inner Abraham. We all love to go out, connect to others, launch projects and be smiles from ear to ear.
Yet to be an Isaac, you need persistence, humility, and the strength of conviction. It’s painless to smile on the outside, especially when one feels like it. But how about smiling inside our homes, especially after a long day of work, when we come home drained and exhausted? To bring a child to the world is pleasurable. But to educate a child is much more difficult.
But an Isaac knows that beneath the stones and the dirt, awaits a wellspring ready to erupt and give life to all its surroundings with fresh and pure waters. And so, an Isaac never gives up, and he digs and digs and digs consistently until all treasures from within are unearthed.
Are we ready to develop our Isaac too, with consistency, inside ourselves, and inside our homes, and inside our communities?