Kenneth Cohen

Timing Is Everything

When the Torah describes the conflict between the servants of Lot and the servants of Avraham, there appears to be an unrelated verse.

We are told, והכנעני אז בארץ, that the Canaanites were still living in the land. Avraham Avinu is also promised that his children will return to Eretz Yisrael, as their possession. This will come about after the exodus from Egypt, but not at that time. The reason for this delay is that the sin of the Emorites is not yet complete. It will be complete, when they return. They will no longer have any merits.

This explains the reason for the dispute between the shepherds of Avraham and Lot. Avraham’s shepherds realized that the land was not yet given to Avraham. They needed to be careful where they grazed, so that they would not be stealing.
Lot’s shepherds made two incorrect assumptions. They thought that Lot would be Avraham’s heir, because he was childless. They also thought that the land already belonged to Avraham, and they could graze wherever they wanted. This was the source of the conflict.

We see how everything goes according to Hashem’s plan. He is running the world and will bring about salvation at the appropriate time.

The time for elimination of our enemies is now. I believe that great salvation and joy, awaits us. All of the sadness and mourning, will not be for naught. These holy Jews will not have died in vain. We will see the Hand of G-d and all of our sadness will turn to great happiness. It’s all about timing, and the time is now!

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at