By Rabbi Yaacov Haber
Something occurred to me today. Why are we all different? Why do we all have different talents, natural skills and different likings? The answer is because we all have a different contribution to make. It is our unique abilities that define the contribution we need to make. I must admit that every once in a while I find myself watching someone and wishing I could sing, talk, write, dance, explain or understand as well as they. But then I realize, that if I could than I wouldn’t be able to make the contribution I was created to make. We need to do our own thing. If we do someone else’s thing we miss the boat. This week’s parsha is a parsha of kindness and a parsha of terror. Abraham actually redefined the word kindness and was a paragon of chesed. As our founding father Abraham imbued the nation that would come forth from him with kindness. Because of Abraham’s lesson to us an observant Jew is obligated to help others. The citizens of Sodom, on the other hand, were the epitome of terror. They studied and mastered the culture of cruelty. They were proud of their ruthlessness. Because of the story of the destruction of Sodom, cruelty has become the antithesis of Judaism. G-d said Sodom must be destroyed and Abraham must survive. It is fundamental that even if one carefully fulfills all the tenets of the Torah and even lives a deeply religious lifestyle but does not act with chesed, his practice is something other than Jewish. Judaism must be based on the example of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – Abraham was a tower of chesed and so must we be. Why is kindness is so vital to Judaism? Because G-d’s creative process depends on our ontribution. Olam Chesed Yibaneh. Every one of us is created differently because every one of us has a different chesed and contribution to make. The world depends on our individual contribution. If we strive to make someone else’s contribution the world will forever be lacking. The people of Sodom were out for themselves. Abraham taught us to take responsibility for the world. He made his contribution and taught us to make ours.