Lech Lecha – The Mind and the Soul

Yitzhak and Yishmael are a reflection of their respective mothers. Hagar, Yishmael’s mother is an intellectual and insightful woman. But Yitzhak’s mother is a seer of high order. The two sons’ personalities and futures reflected their mother’s gifts.   Notes:
• This week’s Parsha, Lech Lecha, contrasts the personalities of Yishmael and Yitzhak, destined to be forefathers of two major nations of the world, even to this day viz. today’s Arab nations and the Jewish nation.
• The two stepbrothers’ mothers are: Hagar, Yishmael’s mother, and Sarah, Yitzhak’s mother. Hagar is a noble Egyptian princess who selflessly and humbly chooses a life to be a servant in the house of the famous Abraham, initially her mentor and guide, and later, after Sarah’s passing, his wife.  Sarah is a prophetess of high order, gifted in ways even beyond those of Abraham.
• Hagar makes a conscious and deliberate cogent decision to leave the Pharaonic palace of luxury and adopt a life of spirituality and service to humanity. On the other hand, Sarah is naturally endowed with supernatural spiritual insights and wisdoms. Both Hagar and Sarah raise their two children accordingly – Yishmael with intellectual prowess; Yitzhak with spiritual insights.
• Abraham admires Yishmael’s fabulous mind and hopes he too will grow in spiritual stature. But Yishmael doesn’t. Abraham therefore sees the future of his seed, the Jewish people, arising through Yitzhak which gives him much joy.
• Spirituality sows the seed of future and joy. The intellect can easily be led astray.