Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar as a Blended Family: Problems, Partings, and Possibilities

David J. Zucker, Moshe Reiss

Abstract


Blended families are families where after divorce or death, and then through remarriage, at least one parent and one child (children) are not biologically connected. One prime example found in Genesis, are the lives and interactions of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar, and then the additional personages of Ishmael and Isaac. This article considers this ancient blended family through the lens of the norms of relationships between spouses (partners), and child(ren) within family life in the twenty-first century. What was accepted, and acceptable in the ancient world, the cultural mores and customs of that age are not the standards and models of our time. That disjunction notwithstanding, the past informs the present. Dividing into three parts, Problems, Partings, and Possibilities, this article analyzes that ancient blended family through biblical, midrashic, and contemporary teachings.

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