How Will I Know?
One of the reasons that I so enjoy the study of the Constitution is that it is – in process – so similar to Torah study. The lines of thought are similar and the process is enjoyable to me as my eyes are often opened to new ideas and considerations.
the week the Torah reading is one of the most famous and precious passages, where G-d comes to Avram and assure him that he will not be without an heir. After Hashem promises him the heir, Avram responds with a question, “How shall I know that am to posses it?”
Many have questioned Avrams response to Hashem, and whilst the Talmudic arguments are legion, it is the Rashi’s response that most applies to not just Torah, but to the study of the Constitution as well. Rashi postulates that Avrams question is more about his concern that while he has found G-d’s favor, how will he know that if his descendants aren’t up to the task, G-d will not abandon them? How can Avram know that his seed will be able to be able to live up to the covenant?
When Benjamin Franklin left the convention, a woman asked him, “What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?” His classic and so well known reply expressed the same concern. how would he know that the generations to come would be able to live up to the ideals and promises of the Constitution?
In the same way that Avram, soon to be Avraham, feared for his future, Ben Franklin too feared for the future of Americans. Would we “keep it” as he so hoped? Would we study and commit ourselves to understanding why things had been set up the way that they had been done?
Like Avram, Franklin would just have to trust that what the Almighty had given to us through him and the men of the Convention would matter to us.