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    Brothers at war – Lech L’cha

    Abraham & Lot divide the land, by Charles Foster, 1897

    “And Abram was very rich… and Lot also… and the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together; for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together” (Gen. 13:2-6).

    What caused the strife? Sheep, possessions, material things.

    Result? There was not enough room for them both.

    The family fell apart because of money. Love and kinship now counted for nothing.

    When they were poor, there was room for them both. When riches entered the door, family feeling went out of the window.

    This is an ancient story that has repeated itself throughout history and still does.

    Sometimes it is the outcome of a will, when one sibling inherits more than another. Now they can no longer look at each other.

    Sometimes one member of the family makes money and is afraid the poor relations will come flocking and won’t leave them alone.

    Whatever the causes, the results are tragic. It can happen that members of a family go their graves without ever having made up the quarrel.

    So what is the answer? It is never easy. King Solomon says, “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city” (Prov. 18:19).

    Talking it over is not the solution in every case. It may be too late for that. Sharing one’s prosperity with the aggrieved part of the family might create more problems than it solves.

    But at least there ought to be an attempt at restoring diplomatic relations with each other, being polite, showing an interest in one another’s well being, not exacerbating the tensions but even finding a favour to do the other.

    The one thing that must never be allowed to happen is to say, as someone once said to me, “Don’t talk to me about my brother. I no longer have a brother.”

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