This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
It may be a truism that no person has ever declared on their deathbed, "I wish I'd spent more time at the office," but I guarantee neither has anyone ever said, "I wish I'd had fewer children."
In the late sixties and early seventies, a cabal of quasi-scientists spouting pessimistic forecasts of approaching doom managed to sow mindless panic with their scare-tactics about population explosion and mass starvation. The theory then went something along the lines of: Mass-overpopulation is impending, whereupon the ability of the planet to sustain us all will become overstretched and if we are lucky we'll all perish and if not we'll really suffer and until then can you just stop having kids and send lots of grant money to my research foundation so I can live in luxury while researching this imminent disaster while appearing regularly on all the best talk shows to promote my latest book about the problem...
How Adam and Eve Made Peace With Abel's Murder
The first portion of the Torah begins with pristine beauty. The creation of a graceful, peaceful world, culminating with the creation of the day of rest, as the Torah describes:
And G‑d saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good, and it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day. Now the heavens and the earth were completed and all their host. And G‑d completed on the seventh day His work that He did, and He abstained on the seventh day from all His work that He did. And G‑d blessed the seventh day and He hallowed it, for thereon He abstained from all His work that G‑d created to do.
Alas, the serenity was short lived.
Our Cycling Path
A while ago, my family went biking in a secluded area along a picturesque nature path. The path was a few miles long, and if you completed it you made a full circle and ended up back at its beginning.
The route had small hills throughout. We loved cycling down those hills; it was effortless and enjoyable, the pull of gravity doing all the work for us.
Uphill, though, was a different story altogether. That’s when the going got tough. We needed to use all our muscle strength to cycle forward. But we soon learned that if we used the momentum from the easy ride down to propel us at least part of the way up, it made the ride easier. It also helped to keep in mind that after our strenuous effort, we would soon be rewarded with something easier -- maybe even a fun ride downhill.