Good Morning, Israel: A Never-Ending Focus on Family

Family is a blessing, family is love, but family is also challenging.

The challenges we face today with family have been there since the Bible and beyond.
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Good morning dear readers!

These morning posts are meant to provide a look at the personal lives of the Israel Today editorial staff in the Promised Land. But, for many of us, our life outside of work is almost entirely family-related.

I have not been married long enough to forget the good old days as a bachelor, when I was free and could do what I wanted. Of course, this is no longer possible as a father with small, nagging girls determining my daily routine.

They say you get used to it and at some point simply accept that children now rule your life, even when they’re older and have moved out of the house. 

When we are finally grandparents, all is supposed to get easier again. You can enjoy the small children without doing any of the work. 

When a diaper is full, the parents are called. 

When they cry at night, not our problem. 

And when the grandchildren misbehave, we can criticize their parents with a clear conscience. 

 

Family life in the Bible

In our weekly Bible reading yesterday in the synagogue, we came to the end of the Book of Genesis, which has a focus on family. 

Tensions between Jacob’s sons had become painfully obvious. On his deathbed, the patriarch could not hold back, and criticized his sons, though he did so with love. 

After Jacob’s death, Joseph’s brothers came to him and asked that he not take revenge over their selling him into slavery. 

Joseph quickly calms the situation, telling his brothers:

“Do not be afraid. Am I in the place of God? As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good, in order to accomplish a day like this— to preserve the lives of many people. Therefore do not be afraid. I will provide for you and your little ones.” (Genesis 50:19-21)

That’s how it works in many families. You argue, sell each other into slavery (figuratively, I hope) and finally reconcile. 

In Joseph’s case, he was able to forgive thanks to his realization that God had planned everything. He could see how being sold into slavery in Egypt had led to him rising to a position of power, which in turn enabled him to be used by God to save his family during a time of famine.

In our lives, such direct insights into divine providence are often difficult to discern. But they’re there. And sometimes we can see in retrospect why things went a certain way. 

What’s important is that we use this knowledge to reaffirm our faith. After all, trusting in God is often the only way to make it through daily family life!

From all of the Israel Today editorial team, I wish you a pleasant Sunday and a happy new week!

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