It was too easy to answer David Bryfman’s question with a yes.
The question to the panelist on the webinar to make sense of the study: Are you optimistic about the future of the American Jewish community after reading the Pew Study?
It bothered me that I said yes so quickly. What was my evidence?
Reading the Torah portion, Vayera, this week with my son Ross, word by word unpacking the Hebrew and the Rashi I realize there were three images that better answered the question of optimism.
1. Abraham raises his knife to his bound son Isaac, and at the last moment, Abraham the father, sees the ram in the thicket.
2. Hagar is at her end, no water, with her son, she hears the angel, raises her eyes to see the well.
3. Abimelech says to Abraham:
"God is with you in everything that you do"
It is hubris to believe that we, American Jewry, is powerful enough to do the work that plague, exile, and holocaust did not do.
We have forgotten that our work is to do what every generation since our ancient ancestors has done: to raise our eyes, to hear the angels, and to act knowing that God is with us.