If you don’t have something nice to say…

As I get older, some things strike me as strange which did not when I was younger.

Foe example, in Parshas Lech Lecha, the angel tells Hagar to go back to Sarah, and that she will have a son, to name him Ishmael, and that he will be a pera adam, a wild-man and thief.

Now I ask you, is that a nice thing to tell an expectant mother? Imagine being told that at a parent teacher conference. Or by your OBGYN doctor?

Why say that? Even if it will be true?

I think it was a punishment to Hagar, because really she is to blame for what will become of him. He will become a wild-man and thief because he will not grow up with two loving parents. He could have, if Hagar had not thrown the wrench into the original plan of him being a full foster child. But now Sarah could never look on him with love, and that surely inhibited Abraham too.

As a rabbi said, “The best thing you can give your kids is a happy marriage between you and your spouse.”


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