For Lack of Money
In last week’s post, If Abraham Had Traveled in the 21st Century, I wrote that God promised Abraham three things to convince him to go on a journey; reputation, money and kids. As Rashi explains, these three factors are negatively affected during long-term travel.
If Abraham had gone on a trip today, something in the scale of a RTW (round-the-world) journey, he could have definitely made it financially. One of my favorite authors is Timothy Ferriss. In his best-selling book The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim states that if you work correctly, outsource your life and move your occupation online, you can travel the world and make a living too.
Lately I read another fantastic book called The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau. Chris explains in painstaking detail “how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living”.
I really like the idea. Assuming Abraham was talented (a Midrash I once saw declared that he invented mathematics), then he would have done just fine with an online entrepreneurial business.
Concerning fertility and having children, that’s a completely different ball-game. At first I really couldn’t understand what Rashi meant about travel not being good for fertility. After all Abraham and Sarah traveled slowly from campsite to campsite. At many stops they set up shop convincing pagans to accept monotheism. What would be the problem with having children on the way? Privacy issues? I doubt it. The main problem was that Sarah was physically infertile. Literally. Nevertheless Rashi writes unequivocally that travel in general is not conducive to fertility.
What about today? Is modern travel good or bad for fertility? At first glance travel conditions today are great. Much better than 3000 years ago. Is there still an issue to deal with?
It would seem that there are problems with long-haul travel that Abraham and Sarah didn’t need to worry about that the modern couple does. According to scientific findings, jet-lag, erratic sleep cycles, changes in diet and lack of routine, have a bad effect (even if short term) on a woman’s reproductive cycle.
See the following articles for details:
- Off the Clock: Disrupted Daily Rhythms Hinder Fertility in Mice
- Late Period While Traveling
- Travel affecting your cycle
Another thing that our ancestors probably didn’t have to cope with like we do is STRESS. Travel might be fun, but when you are in a non-stop state of new experiences, unfamiliar foods, coupled with catching planes and trains, shlepping around luggage and looking for where to eat and what to do every day, that’s stress.
It’s good stress when you travel on vacation (or eu-stress to be exact), but stress nevertheless. Many people I know return from vacation more exhausted then when they left and need a vacation to recuperate from the vacation.
I’m not saying that this is definitely what Rashi had in mind when he wrote that travel is harmful to fertility, but maybe it is…