long before the ten commandments, two brothers, filled with jealousy and conflict, created a legacy. for them, beyond their issues with each other, family relations and historical destiny separated them.
in a time of loss, these two placed their personal grievances aside. for a moment, the space time continuum was filled with honor and peace. these two brothers- isaac and ishmael- collaborated to commemorate the passing of abraham, their father. the torah portion chayei sarah torah, reports on this event.
the conflict between the brothers was about matters greater than themselves. the master of the universe’s promises would flow through one of these descendents. while both would be blessed by the master of the universe, the succession plan, which involved sarah, created the conflict. isaac was to be abraham’s legacy as far as the jewish people. additionally, bullying problems were alluded to in the torah. ishmael may have had some hostility towards isaac. ishmael, a concubine’s child, most likely had issues with isaac, the child of abraham’s wife, sarah. if all of that was not enough, there was additional angst from ishmael’s dismissal from the family. also, isaac endured from abraham’s attempted sacrifice of him.
despite all of the potential drama, the torah reports that “isaac and ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of machpelah in the field of ephron the son of zohar the hittite, which faces mamre.” genesis 25:9. two brothers, with plenty of issues, set aside their personal issues and shared a peaceful moment together. they honored their father. in doing so, isaac and ishmael set forth an eternal example. family members and nations are able to set aside disputes to find a time for peace.
one generation later, this act would be repeated. two brothers, who had an equally dramatic history of conflict, also took to honor their father. the torah reports “and isaac expired and died and was gathered in to his peoples, old and sated with days, and his sons, esau and jacob, buried him. genesis 35:29. again, differences were set aside in a moment of honor.
thus, we should as “does it have to take a funeral to bury conflict and find peace?” the ten commandments, thankfully, set in stone honoring one’s parents. thus, good sibling relationships is to be a daily activity for the sake of honoring one’s parents.
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