God responds to the crying of Ishmael and not the crying of Hagar. Ishmael represents the crying of the baby with which all life begins. Why does the baby cry? The baby is hungry, the baby is afraid, the baby is vulnerable, the baby is lonely. The baby’s cry is a primal scream of protest. The shofar on Rosh Hashana is called by the talmud “Yeulelei Yallil,” the howling of the wolf. It is a kind of intuitive shriek, a pre-personal crying expressing a feeling of threat and a deep need for protection. It is motivated at least in part by fear.
Daily Wisdom: The Tears of Ishmael
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