In this week’s Torah Portion these are the following topics: The angels visit Abraham, Story of sadom, the birth of Moab & Ammon, King Abimelekh, Isaac is born, treaty at Beer-sheba, the big test and the birth of rebecca.
Abraham wanted with all his heart to do the mitzvah of having guests. While abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent he noticed three strangers. He ran to them and invited them to his tent. How did he prepare for his guests?
- He sat them under a tree that offered shade and comfort.
- He than rushed to his wife and told her to knead flour and make bread.
- He chose the best calf from his lot and had it prepared in order to serve the choicest of foods.
- He brought milk to drink.
- He brought a spread (cottage cheese or butter).
When they finished their food the guests who were angles in disguised asked for Abraham’s wife. The angels blessed the couple that they will have a son the same time next year. Sarah laughed and said to herself if I no longer have my period and am well over child bearing age …how will this happen to me? Sarah yearned so much to have a child and didn’t want to be crushed and let out her emotions. God said that it will happen and reassured an elderly lady that a beautiful miracle was to happen to her. The nation of your son will work on performing acts of charity (read about charity and Jewish people) and justice. The first angel finished his mission and two were left for the next mission.
The other two angels were now sent on a mission to destroy Sodom. The cry from the place of Sodom is so great. Abraham begged God to let him fine ten innocent people in the city and than in that merit it should be saved. Lot was sitting at the city entrance waiting for visitors. He invited them to his house and prepared a feast and also served matzah. (This could have been because it happened on Passover). What were the people of Sodom like and why were they worthy for destruction?
As lot was preparing the men who were angels to sleep the night in his house the townspeople (both the young and old members) surrounded his home and asked for their guests. They wanted to do evil to these guests. The people said we will do more evil to you now than to your guests for your actions! Lot offered his two daughters to the crowd to suppress their hunger for evil. The townspeople refused. The angels than struck the crowd with blindness and told Lot that your community will be destroyed for their evil. Lot hesitated and the angels took the husband, wife and two daughters and said run for your life and do not look back. Run to the hills!
Lot’s wife looked behind and turned into a pillar of salt.God destoryed Sodom and Gomorrah and from afar one could see heavy smoke from teh earth. Lot lived in a cave with his two daughters. The daughters thought that the world was destroyed and therfore they gave their father to drink and became pregnant from him. The older daughter named her son Moab while the younger daughter called him Ben-Ami.(Ammon).
Abraham traveled to Gerar and again told his wife sarah that she would tell the people her husband is her brother for the fear of God is not known in this place. When the King Abimelekh took sarah two things happened: A frightful dream that he would be killed and that every womb in the palace was sealed. The King apologized and sent Sarah back to Abraham. Abraham explained to the king that with out a fear of God in his place he could very well be killed.
Sarah gives birth exactly like the angels predicted and Abraham names him Isaac. Abraham performs the bris when he is 8 days old. God tells Abraham to listen to sarah and send away Hagar and Ishmael.Ishmael was blessed by God that he would become a great nation. Hagar found a wife for him from Egypt and he lived as an expert archer in the Paran Desert.
The treaty at Beer-Sheba is made between Abimelekh and Abraham.
God tested Abraham. He asked him to take his son Isaac and bring him as a totally burned offering. Abraham didn’t ask any questions and didn’t tell Isaac either. Before they traveled to the place Abraham had wood cut and was ready to do the will of God. Abraham traveled with two men and Isaac. Abraham told the men that the area was reached and that he will be worshiping to God and than return. Abraham took the offering wood and placed it on Isaac. Abraham took the fire and the slaughter knife. As they approached the area Isaac asked his father we have the fire and wood but where is the lamb? Abraham replied that God will see to us acquiring an offering. Abraham built the alter. He than bound his son Isaac and placed him on top of the wood on the alter. As Abraham reached out to finish this sacrifice of Isaac to God an angel called to him and said, “Abraham. Do not harm the boy and now we know that you fear God”. At that very moment a ram’s horn was stuck in a nearby thicket. Abraham went and got the ram and sacrificed it. God blessed Abraham for passing this huge test .All the nations of the world shall be blessed through your descendants and you will be blessed greatly. Abraham received these blessings because he obeyed God’s voice.
The Portion concludes with the family members born to Abraham’s brother Nachor. Milcah the wife of Nachor has Rebecca. This is the future wife of Isaac.
Have a Sweet Shabbos
-Beth Shifra Crew
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