D’var Guitar Lech Lecha
Something broken in the generation of Abraham
Something chaser [Heb. missing]
That only the future could repair [Zohar]
Only the children of Abraham
All the Isaacs and Ishmaels of the future.
To the Isaacs and Ishmaels of the future – where is the model the mooring? After the rupture of Abraham’s children, Isaac and Ishmael, where is the remnant of relation?
In the arts.
In the Islamic Collection now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts — a small Hebrew bible done by a Sephardic scribe named Moshe b. Ya’akov Qalif. Working in Seville, in 1472, his micrographs accompanying the text belong to tradition of Koranic illuminations.
In music: Quando El Rey Nimrod, the music of the Moors, the imagery of the Jews. Same tune that we use for Shalom Aleikhem. Play.
The first piece of Jewish written music that we have, transcribed by Ovadiah the ger, converted to Judaism after being horrified by the First Crusade that passed through his birthplace Italy, spending his last days in the community of Fostat, Cairo, and in the genizah where this piece of written music dating from early 12th c. was found:
Mi al har horev. Play.
In the poetry of the Golden Age when Dunash ibn Labrat student of Saadia. Saadia to Dunash: such a thing has been — until now — unknown in Israel.
What was new about his poetry?
Dunash was the first to use Arabic meters and apply them to Hebrew poetry. He created a whole new epoch of Hebrew poetry. He wrote his name into the acrostic of Dror Yikra. Play.
Midrash: at his death Abraham ascended to the top of the chariot of Ezekiel it was covered with the dew of light from there he saw and understood everything.
Go forth and make a path for your children [Genesis Rabbah 40:6]
Just as Abraham left his father’s house
so all children leave their birth houses —
Lech lecha [Genesis 12:1}
get thee out
out of your country
and away from your kindred
and away from your father’s house
in ascending order of difficulty.
We will have to leave our father’s house
to make the repairs necessary for reconciliation of Isaacs and Ishmaels
all of us: the Isaacs and Ishmaels of the future
we will have to step away from our comforts
and inherited prejudices to make peace
because we can.