August 23, 2019 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Lech Lecha (2)

There's no doubt the story of Abram and Sarai's sojourn in Egypt is an odd one. "As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, 'I know what a beautiful woman you are. If the Egyptians see you, and think, 'She is his wife,' they will kill me and let you live.'" (Gen. 12:11-12). Instead they pretend to be siblings. Now maybe you picture them as a Biblical version of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but at the time Abram is 75 and Sarai is 65. Even if she's a very well-preserved 65, it makes you stop and think. According to one interpretation, Abram had been taking her for granted and at this moment suddenly realized what a beautiful woman she is. The opposite might also be true: they're so in love that his image of her reflects that love rather than the reality. In either case, while Abram's actions are problematic, his feelings toward his wife could come right out of "Love Tips from the Patriarchs." To be able to see your spouse's beauty at whatever age - or however long the marriage - is special indeed.

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Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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