parshat Vayera

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shutterstock"The Right Place at the Right Time"
Whenever someone as great as Avraham makes a decision to move, even if still within the Land, and the Torah decides to write about it, commentators (and hopefully we too) will want to know why he did so.
  • Ma’acha Spells Trouble
    Our parasha ends with a list of the offspring of Avraham’s brother, Nachor, most important among them being Rivka, the daughter of his son, Betuel. While most of the children (eight) were from his wife, Milka, he also had four children from his concubine, Reuma (see Bereishit 22:23-24). Thus, there were twelve children, which certainly reminds us of the twelve tribes that were born to Yaakov from his wives (8) and servants (4). While some say that the reason for all this genealogy is to understand where Rivka came from (see Rashi ad loc.), we will try to figure out who the last person mentioned in the list, Ma’acha, was, and what Ma’acha’s connection to Bnei Yisrael was over time.
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    Parasha Summary for Vayera
    Click here to read the Summary by Rabbi Stewart Weiss
  • People for Avraham and Angels for Lot
    The same beings that are described, when visiting Avraham, as anashim (people) (Bereishit 18:2) are described, when visiting Lot, as malachim (angels) (Bereishit 19:1). In the previous parasha, in the context of Avraham’s involvement in the war between the four kings and the five kings, the latter placed the victorious Avraham on a throne and said to him: “Rule over us; you are a god for us.” Avraham responded: “Let the world not be deprived of its King” (Bereishit Rabba 41:3).
  • It's About Time
    The Gemara that discusses this topic includes a reference from this week’s parsha.
  • About Altars, Monument, and … Trees
    In describing Avraham’s building of a spiritual legacy, the Torah says: “He planted an eshel in Be’er Sheva and called out there in the name of Hashem, the eternal G-d” (Bereishit 21:33). With the help of this pasuk and a difficult and extremely harsh one in Yeshaya, we will discover an unknown element of worship of Hashem practiced at the time of the forefathers.
  • Child Riding a Bicycle on Shabbat
    May a child ride a bicycle on Shabbat in a place that has an eiruv?
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