True Peace Allows All to FlourishNovember 19, 2020 - 12:00 am
“He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, ‘Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land.’” — Genesis 26:22
Each week in synagogue or at home, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Toldot, which means “offspring,” from Genesis 25:19—28:9
Recently, history was made when the Unites Arab Emirates became the third Arab nation to normalize ties with Israel. This treaty encourages collaboration between the two countries in areas including medicine, technology, and security, and promotes tourism and dialogue. It is peace with a promise of prosperity for both countries.
As an Israeli, I was elated by the news, which promises so many blessings for the Holy Land. As a mother, I feel encouraged that this move toward peace brings our region closer to a safer and better future for all of our children.
In this week’s Torah reading, we learn that Isaac settled in the valley of Gerar where he reopened three wells originally dug by his father, Abraham. Isaac named the first well Esek, which means “dispute,” because an argument ensued with the locals over the ownership of the well. He called the second well Sitnah, which means “harassment,” because after he uncovered the well, the locals badgered Isaac and his servants. Finally, when Isaac reopened the third well, the local population left him in peace. Isaac named the third well Rehoboth, which means “expansiveness,” because, “Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”
Notice that Isaac didn’t react to the lack of dispute and harassment over this third well by thanking God for peace. Rather, he thanked God for the ability to thrive in the land. This is because true peace leads to prosperity and allows everyone to flourish.
It’s time that we change our culture from one of competition to one of collaboration. We need to support one another, work together, and help each other. Where there is strife, we need to pursue peace. Because when we are at peace with each other, everyone wins.
Whether in the home, in the workplace, or the global arena, peace and cooperation need to be our supreme values. Peace leads to prosperity and the success of us all.
Your turn: How might you “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14) in your family, workplace, and community?