Friday, October 19, 2007

Lech L'Cha: making a bad situation worse

Parshat Lech L'Cha

In 16:5 we find Sarai having offered her maidservant Hagar to Avram. They lived together and Hagar became pregnant. Sarai complains to Avram "וַתֹּאמֶר שָׂרַי אֶל-אַבְרָם, חֲמָסִי עָלֶיךָ--אָנֹכִי נָתַתִּי שִׁפְחָתִי בְּחֵיקֶךָ, וַתֵּרֶא כִּי הָרָתָה וָאֵקַל בְּעֵינֶיהָ; יִשְׁפֹּט יְהוָה, בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶיךָ. " I gave my maidservant to you and when she saw she was pregnant, I was belittled in her eyes.

Sarai gave over Hagar for the purpose of her getting pregnant. Now that it worked and Hagar got pregnant she is upset!!?? That does not make sense. Sarai should have been overjoyed!?

We all need validation. Here was Sarai, upset, afraid she would never conceive, scared of a future with no children, etc.

Sarai was a צדקת and very unselfishly offered Hagar to Avram that at least he should have a child from her.

When Hagar got pregnant right away, it was a slight to Sarai. She now knew for sure the problem was with her. It made her feel bad. They could not have children because of her. All these years with nothing and this lowly maidservant gets pregnant right away!

Not only was her personal honor slighted, but "I was belittled in her eyes". She lost her complete standing and level of respect. Everybody could now see that Sarai was blemished.

Sarai need validation and Hagar getting pregnant immediately did damage to Sarai emotionally and cast even greater doubts in Sarai's mind.

We all have to treat people with due respect and not make them feel slighted or belittled. It only makes bad situations worse.

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