Chavarah- Jewish Community Learning

A blog of Jewish study and traditions. Notes from classes: Torah Study with Rabbi Marder, Toledot and Shabbaton as well as other details found of interest.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hagar and Ishmael - what happens

Torah study 5-28
Genesis 21:15-21. End of the episode.

Hagar left Ishmael to die. Angel speaks to her.
Will make great nation of him.
Find a well.

Poem: The Opinion of Hagar / Alicia Suskin Ostriker.
Inspired by Poem about William Yeats –
Sensed that war was about to happen:
“And the living nation awaits. .each sequestered in his hate” . 1939

Ishmael is strong.

Parallel to the Israel - Palestinian conflict.

Ruth Behar. Jewish Cuban descent

“The healprints on their faces”
Essay. About Sarah and Hagar and sisterhood ... Women wringing women. Feminism roots in violence.
We were slaves but we also enslaved others. Cross the borders of our differences with respect.
We become a people at the expense of others. Those who are cast out so not forget.

Ch 17. God heard the cry of the boy. Angel calls to Hagar. (sign that things turn around same in the next story ).
She burst into tears..

R Menachem ha Meiri Why did God answer Ishmael rather than Hagar. Ishmael doesn't cry out.
Person can cry out without making a sound. Can we identify anguish even if a person is not making a sound?
Ishmael as needing compassion.

Gods response. Angel asks what troubles her... Compassionate approach.
A way of initiating discussion...
Story is about opening her up. “Do not fear.” (most used phrase in the Bible)

God has heard the voice of the boy where he is...
“Where he is.” - Rashi. He is being judged by his actual deeds not what he will do in the future.
Argument that the descendants will be enemies if the Jews. Why not kill him now? God judges on what he is now. Not what he will be later.

V18. Get up. Therapeutic technique, call to action. Hold your hand on him.
Get back to your child. His strength will return. Your hand will be strengthened also and it will come from him.
Next time more on the therapeutic technique!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Abraham Sends Hagar Away...

Torah Study Class
Genesis 21:14 -15
Abraham sends Hagar away with bread and water. Water and bread gone and she puts her son under a bush.
God has assured Abraham that Ishmael will become a nation.

Abraham gets up early. That is used to show that a momentous event will follow.
Rashi. Early because eager to carry out the command of God.

Bread and a skin of water to Hagar. - Spousal support Only bread and water?
Rashi. Not gold and silver because he had gone out to lead a wicked life. Meager support.
Iben Ezra. Questions how Abraham could send them out without proper provisions. Says he is doing what God commanded. But later after Sarah's death Abraham gave gifts to Ishmael ... Doesn't give them to upset Sarah.
Isaac Luria. He hoped that he could call them back once Sarah calms down. Only gives a small amount because they will not be gone long.
Kimkee Abraham was sad. He didn't yell at Sarah to preserve shalom byte. The silver and gold he gave her is just not mentioned.
Movie. Revolutionary Road. Turns off hearing aid to tune out his wife's rant.

Spousal support question.
Hagar gets lost. She should have remembered the way back to Egypt.
"Put on her shoulder and the child"
What did he put on shoulder? Commentary says only bread and water on shoulder.

One Midrash says that Ishmael was sick due to Sarah's curse and he could not walk.
So she had to support him.
Some make him younger.
Some say put water / food on both of their shoulders.
Term ‘yeled’. Also can mean a youth.. As well as child.

Kimkee. Literal or possibly he escorted her away.
Poem. Yakov isreael from efrat. I watch my son. .. Away. Tefillah chains tying down.

Book: Norman Cohen Voices from Genesis
Pain to Abraham to cast out Ishmael. Later Abraham searched for Ishmael. Continued relation.
Comment... Divorced fathers experience pain and anticipation to keep relationships with children after separation.

Expulsion of Hagar in Art & Literature

Genesis 21:14-16
Shalom Bayit for the point of view of both the ideal and practical
Ideal. State of holiness when the relation is harmonious
Practical. Joseph Mesler. Not mean tranquility. Compromise and restraint to preserve harmony.
In past the term was used to alleviate abuse of a spouse. Only in the past twenty years has it been recognized as a mask. "for the sake of shalom bayit.”

Book Reference: "the Chalice and the Blade Our History, Our Future” By Riane Eisler.

Contemporary midrashim. Peter Pitzele. Book: Our Fathers’ Wells. (BiblioDrama)

From Ismael’s point of view. Protests the situations. The voice of the outcast.

Question about the teaching parenting... And God. Poem by Yehuda Amichai
A cut and paste type of Bible. To take out the parts that are difficult.
Shadow of what we don't like in ourselves. Ishmael represents what they want to separate from being Jewish.

Abraham's story. A man who is continually asked to give up what he loves for his faith in God.
Art :
Book: Phyllis Kramer - The dismissal of Hagar in five works of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
Dutch art it is a popular subject.
Expulsion of Hagar. Rembrant did it five times. Abraham central but not in control. Hagar and Ishmael are clearly distressed. Sarah in background looking pleased behind a pillar.

Hagar leaves: “She wandered”
Rashi. She returned to the idolatry of her fathers house. A spiritual wandering rather than geographical.
Eli Munk. Retun to pagan way. But Ishmael is the one who God responds to.

“Water runs out.”
Commentators are Troubled by this. Suggests that Abraham didn't give enough. But Ibn Ezra says it was because she wandered. Rashi. Suggests that Ishmael was sick and needed more water. Sick because Sarah put evil curse on him.
Hagar in desert. Geographic wilderness
V15. Threw boy under one of the bushes. Verb is to throw or cast. Shocking moment. Midrash says that he is weak and about to die.
Commentators are critical of her. She is throwing away her child.