Let us set the scene at the end of Parshat Noah. The world is a mess. Ten generations after a flood destroyed mankind (except for the Noah family), Abraham enters to witness the building of a giant tower, planned for a rebellion against G-d.
Instead of standing back and shaking his head in frustration, Rashi says that Avram tries to inspire the rebels to repent. Yes, this is where we first meet Avram and Sarai, the couple who would literally save the world, and change humanity with their faith and their goodness.
The end of Parshat Noah is a cliffhanger. Avram’s family escapes the cruel pagan society of Ur Kasdim in search of that place where they’ll be free to live a moral, just and caring existence.
How appropriate that exactly as the Jewish people around the world are focusing on our patriarch Abraham, the women/girls of the Women’s Performance Community of Jerusalem in partnership with OU Israel are about to take the stage in “COUNT THE STARS – The Journey of Avraham and Sara”.
“COUNT THE STARS” tries to faithfully tell the story of Avraham’s trials and triumphs, along with ageless commentary and midrashim, doing so in exciting song, dance and story, plus dazzling costumes and props. One of its opening numbers reflects upon this new beginning in a touching duet between our beloved Patriarch and Matriarch (played by Avital Macales and Sarah Covey Lopez), as they embark upon their lives of teaching and gathering souls under the wings of G-d.
Temporarily settling in Charan (Bereishit, 11:31), Sarai reflects upon the new unfamiliar surroundings, their alone-ness.
While it’s a sweet song, it tries to convey the difficulties of Avram and Sarai’s life. Theirs was an existence of constantly starting again. That is not easy for anyone. Theirs was an existence of always being different and separate and ostracized.
A very solitary life. The Stone Chumash says, “Though Avraham and Sarah had many disciples (we call them “souls” in our show), they were essentially alone; they could never blend into whatever culture surrounded them.” They could never become best friends with the idol worshippers next door.
We are reminded that Avram is called Avram HaIvri, not only because he came from the other side of the Euphrates, but because he stood on “one side side of a moral and spiritual divide, and the rest of the world was on the other.” (.ibid)
Avram rejected a world of paganism and immorality for what HaRav Soloveitchik calls an “ethical life”. And even though Hashem had never said one word to Avram, Avram knew that there was an Infinite Being that ruled the world. He was willing to endure ridicule, hatred and isolation to follow the ways of the Creator. So too, throughout the millenia, Jews have drawn inspiration from our Father Avraham and strengthened themselves to endure anti-Semitism, expulsion, pogroms and all kinds of abuse in order to remain faithful to G-d.
This is only the beginning of Avraham and Sara’s thrilling story. Women/girls are invited to continue the journey at COUNT THE STARS, November 28 & 30, December 4 & 6 at the Gerard Behar Theatre, Jerusalem. Order seats today:tixwise.co.il/he/countthestars. For information or group discounts: 052-3863987, 054-4263561, 050-2861242
“This show has everything. And you must see it.” – The Huffington Post’s Varda Epstein
“’Count the Stars’ is not just a show, it is the celebration of the community of Israel’s women.” – Arutz 7’s R. Sylvestky.
“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll dance in your seats and you’ll leave singing.” – WPC’s Sharon Katz.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.