Vayeira

Parashat Vayeira continues where we left off from last week, Avraham was circumcised at the age of 99 (Bereishit 17:24). The third day after a circumcision is reported to be the most painful day; however G-d visited Avraham on the third day to show him honor for having carried out the commandment and also to acknowledge that he had now been elevated to higher spiritual plateau.
Despite the painful wound, Avraham yearned so greatly to have guests, he sat outside his tent, waiting for the arrival of guests so that he could bring them into his house for a meal. In response G-d sent him three angels in the guise of people, and Abraham ran to greet them in and personally serve them (Bereishit 18:2). He also encouraged his son, Ishmael into service, for the education of the youth must be practical; preaching about acts of kindness will fail to achieve the ideal result unless it is assisted with acts of kindness. During the time he was attending to his guests, he implored G-d not go away from his presence, as he was always seeking the divine presence throughout the day, he realized the necessity of having hospitality to guests, which goes with the saying from the Talmud that 'hospitality to wayfarers is greater than receiving the divine presence. (Shevuot 35b).'
Avraham told the guests that he would give them ‘little bread and water’ however he served them a huge luxurious meal, this goes with a principle the Talmud states, that 'the righteous say little and do a lot. (Bava Metzia 87a)'
The reading continues as the three angels guised in the form of humans related to Avraham that Sara would give birth, however Sara laughed at the blessing (Bereishit 18:12) and was guilty of not answering Amen, as she found it hard to believe she could give birth at the age of 90. Sara is described as being one of the four mothers and was one of the most righteous women throughout history, also always practicing acts of kindness, Avraham would usually bring the men closer to G-d and Sara would work on the women.
The reading continues with the destruction of the city of Sodom. The destruction of this city came about due to the wickedness of its inhabitants, despite Avraham begged G-d to spare the city if there was a quorum of ten righteous men found inside of it (Berachot 10a), Lot and his two daughters would be the only people saved from the city through the assistance of an angel (Bereishit 19:30). The chapter then continues to relate the birth and arrival of Moav and Ammon, introducing the seed through which Moshiach will eventually come from as Ruth and David are descendants of Moav (Bereishit 19:31-38).
The reading continues as Avraham and Sara journeyed to the Philistia land, and once again Avraham pretended to be the brother of Sara, however the plan worked to no avail and Avimelech, the KIng of the Pelishtim, abducted Sara (Makkot 9/ Bereishit 20:2)).
Almost immediately Avimelech returned Sara out of great fear as G-d appeared to Avimelech in a dream ordering him to give Sara back to Avraham (Bereishit 20:3). To prevent Avimelech from forcing Sara to live with him, he was temporarily punished with impotence. Thankfully, he returned Sara to Avraham, and he was cured of his problem, with the help of Avaraham praying for it.
The Parshah continues with the birth of Yitzchak (Bereishit 21:1-8), the manner of his birth was miraculous – that a woman who was infertile even in her youth had a child at the age 90 – established the nature of G-d’s chosen people. This also teaches us the key to conception like many other things in life are in G-d’s hand.
The reading then continues describing a peace treaty that was made between Avraham and Avimelech for the following three generations (Bereishit 21:22-34).
The Parshah concludes describing the tenth trial of Avraham, the binding of Isaac on the alter, as the Ram is sacrificed on G-d’s command as opposed to Isaac (Bereishit 22:1-19).
The Haftorah for this week’s parshah comes from the second book of Kings (Kings II 4:1-37). The Haftorah describes how the prophet, Elisha helped a woman so poor that she only owned a single jar of oil. She was in huge debt, and her creditor was about to take her children into slavery as settlement. Elisha told her to borrow empty vessels and begin pouring her oil into these vessels. To her amazement, as long as there were vessels to be filled, the oil continuously flowed. She then had more than enough Oil to sell and pay off all her debts.
I would like to dedicate this Dvar Torah in the memory of my late Grandfather who passed away 18 years ago this week, his Hebrew name is Shalom Shlomo Ben Nauriel. Hope you all have a fantastic Shabbat, Shabbat Shalom!