From this week’s portion, Vayera:
Early the next morning, Abraham took some bread and a skin of water, and gave them to Hagar. He placed them over her shoulder, together with the child, and sent her away. And she wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheva. When the water was gone from the skin, she left the child under one of the bushes, and went and sat down at a distance, a bowshot away; for she thought “Let me not look on as the child dies.” And sitting thus afar, she burst into tears.
God heard the cry of the boy, and an angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the cry of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.”
Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water… (Genesis 21:14-19)
This final line might seem to curious to some: why did God “open her eyes” to reveal the well? God being God, wouldn’t it have made more sense to just miraculously create a well on the spot?
Perhaps the true miracles are the ones that occur when we reach out to a force or power beyond our own – when our eyes are opened to new life even as we are seemingly at the end of our strength.
The question that pops out to me is ‘What is an angel? What does it mean for an angel to call, or appear and eat and drink as the 3 angels did with Abram? Are angels physical? hallucinations? metaphor?”
When you say “God being God, wouldn’t it have made more sense to just miraculously create a well on the spot?”, that statement kind of assumes that we we all agree on what God can or cannot do. Or does your final line / interpretration ask us to redefine the meaning of the word God?
Dear Rabbi, I am a believer. I read and study the bible and yet; I had never actually seen that passage that way until God allowed you to help open my eyes to it. I love this! I thank you. I will bookmark your page. I do recall reading the passage and it stuck with me before, but not to the degree that it did this time. Blessings to you in your attempt to bring light. All the best, Sister E
Hmmm. As they say, God brings us to deep waters not to drown us, but to cleanse us. Trials purify the soul. And things attained after some hardship are better valued then those that are granted even before we ask. In the end, He is the all-knowing, all-wise. Surely the creator of the universe has a reasoning more acute than ours? 🙂