Two-Line Torah: Vayera 5777–Holy Chutzpah



November 11, 2016

Abraham is told of the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. He rebels against God’s decree in the Jewish People’s first example of holy chutzpah.

“No!” cries our forefather. “You are not a God that destroys whole swaths of just people because of the sins of others!” Touché. Abe wins the day.

Only a few verses later in our sacred story, Abraham faces Divine Injustice once again. “Sacrifice your beloved son.” Abraham complies. This test Abraham fails.

This we learn from our forefather: stand up for what is right; envision and live the world you hope to build. You are not the Jewish future. You are the Jewish present. Now go, act, change the world.

Chutzpah is a Jewish value; obedience is not.

Rabbi David Singer is the director of UC San Diego Hillel.