Honor God by honoring His image - That means us!
Hachanasat Orchim - Welcoming guests. Abraham realized the importance of welcoming strangers, so much so that he left God in mid-sentence and ran to greet strangers.
This week's Torah portion is full of stories that have defined who the Jewish people are and what they believe throughout their existence. Within the stories of this portion the fathers of many great nations that would live side-by-side with Israel in both peace and war are defined.
There is a lot of content in this week's portion, any one of these topics would be suitable for an extensive dvar Torah. Here we are simply summarizing the events in this week's portion of Vayerah.
The portion ends with Abraham's greatest test ever - God commanded Abraham to take his only son, Isaac and offer him up as a sacrifice to the Lord at a place that I will show you. After a three day trek Abraham arrives at Mount Moriah which is where the Temple will be built many 100's of years in the future. Abraham leaves the man servant and takes Isaac up the mountain where he builds an altar. Isaac asks his father, "Father, we have the wood, we have the flint but we don't have the sacrifice". Abraham responds, "God will provide".
Abraham binds Isaac on the altar and holds his knife above the lad. Just as he is about to strike Isaac, an angel of the Lord intervenes and tells him to stop. Tradition states that the angel actually grabbed Abraham's arm and prevented him from striking Isaac. Abraham then sees a ram caught by his horns in the thicket. He offers the ram in place of Isaac. The site where this took place is then named Adonai-Yireh -The Lord God provides.
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