Vayeira Ė Purely
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May Hashem grant peace and security to the City of
Yerushalayim, the land of Israel, and the Jewish people
throughout the world.
VAYEIRA - PURELY FOR HASHEM
Shalom and Bracha!
This Shabbat we read the portion of
Vayeira. In the beginning of the portion, the Torah describes
Avrahamís phenomenal hospitality. Although he was recovering
from his circumcision, Avraham sat in the sweltering heat
seeking guests in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of bringing
guests to his home. When he saw guests, he ran to take care of
them. Having guests can be a pleasure. Avraham demonstrated that
he fulfilled the Mitzvah even when it caused pain.
the Torah describes his great compassion. When Hashem informed
Avraham that He intended to destroy Sodom and the surrounding
cities, Avraham begged Hashem to have mercy. The people of Sodom
were wicked and there lifestyle was the antithesis of Avrahamís
belief. Rather than rejoicing in their downfall, he sought to
help other human beings in their time of need. This is the true
meaning of kindness and compassion. It is echoed later by a
commandment in the Torah. When one sees the donkey of someone he
hates faltering under its burden, one must help him. Jewish law
adds that one must help him before a friend in the same
situation. True Chesed, true compassion, is pure and
the Torah describes the birth of Yitzchak and his circumcision.
Rashi comments that the birth of Yitzchak was preceded by
Avraham praying for someone else in a similar predicament. This
teaches us that praying sincerely for others elicits G-dís
blessings for our needs.
conclusion of the portion is the Akeidah, the binding of
Yitzchak. Hashem commanded Avraham to bring Yitzchak to the
future sight of the Temple in Yerushalayim as an offering. After
arriving and making all necessary preparations, just before he
slaughtered Yitzchak, Hashem commanded Avraham not to harm him.
A ram miraculously appeared and Avraham offered it in Yitzchakís
teaches that the two horns of the ram were made into Shofars
that were designated for two momentous occasions. The left horn
was sounded when the Torah was given on Mount Sinai, and the
right horn, which is the larger horn, will herald Moshiachís
coming. The previous Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that the Shofar of
Moshiach will awaken us to return to the Torah and that the
renaissance of Judaism in our times is because the Shofar has
already begun to blow. Fortunate are those who heed Moshiachís
Shofar before his coming. This Midrash has a powerful lesson for
all of us. The Akeidah directs us how to fulfill the Torah and
how to bring Moshiach.
commanded Avraham to offer his son, He said please. This is a
unique expression on Hashemís part. Hashem generally commands.
Rashi explains that Hashem asked him to withstand this test, so
as not to invalidate all that he had done until now. Avraham had
risked his life for Hashem, fought paganism and depravity,
dedicated his resources to charity, risked his life to free
captives and spread the message of truth to the world. What was
so unique about the Akeidah that validated Avrahamís devotion
and service until now?
of Hashem can be an expression of our nature or an expression of
submission to His will. Avraham was the epitome of love and
kindness. His tent was open in all directions in order to
welcome guests. His spreading of the knowledge of Hashem was
sharing at the highest level. He even begged Hashem to have
mercy on the wicked people of Sodom. For him to sacrifice his
son, an act of heartlessness, was the antithesis of his nature.
By the Akeidah he demonstrated that all that he had done until
now was not simply an expression of his nature, but rather a
result of total devotion to Hashem.
often, we have a tendency to pick and chose Mitzvot. Those that
we like we follow and those we feel uncomfortable with we skip
or fulfill in a lackluster manner. The Akeidah teaches us that
performing one Mitzvah solely for the sake of Hashem we validate
to all good acts that we have done until now and pave the path
for Moshiach. The Torah adds that Avraham rose early to perform
the Akeidah. This was an expression of enthusiasm. This teaches
us that even when we perform Mitzvot we donít understand or
appreciate, we must do them with enthusiasm and eagerness. The
Tanya explains that Avrahamís eagerness to fulfill the Akeidah
is a merit that brings blessings and protection to the Jewish
people through all generations.
has stressed that acts of good and kindness will bring Moshiach.
Let us all strive to do what w can to help others and we will
hear the call of the Great Shofar with the coming of Moshiach!
Dedicated in merit
of Geraz Grace Bat Sarah Cayre of blessed and cherished memory.
May Hashem grant her perfect rest in Gan Eden and may her acts
of true Chesed be an inspiration to her family and her community
that they will emulate and thereby continue her legacy.
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