Contents Calendar Find Reference
Divrei Torah 
Navigating the Bible
Genesis VaYera
  Lech Lecha
  Chayey Sarah
Three days after performing Brit Milah on himself, Avraham Avinu is visited by HaShem. When three angels appear in human form, Avraham rushes to show them hospitality by bringing them into his tent, despite this being the most painful time after the operation. Sarah laughs when she hears from them that she will give birth to a son next year.

HaShem reveals to Avraham that He will destroy Sedom, and Avraham tries to plead for Sedom to be spared. HaShem agrees that if he finds fifty righteous men in Sedom, He will not destroy it. Avraham manages to `bargain' HaShem down to ten righteous men. However, not even ten can be found. Lot, his wife and two daughters are rescued just before sulphur and fire rain down on Sedom and Amorah. Lot's wife looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt. Lot's daughters fear that, as a result of the destruction, there will be no husbands for them. They decide to get their father drunk and through him perpetuate the human race. From the elder daughter, Moav is born, and from the younger, Amon.

Avraham moves to Gerar, where Avimelech abducts Sarah. After HaShem appears to Avimelech in a dream, he releases Sarah and appeases Avraham. As promised, a son, Yitschak, is born to Sarah and Avraham. At HaShem's command, on the eighth day after the birth, Avraham circumcises him. Avraham makes a feast the day Yitschak is weaned. Sarah tells Avraham to banish Hagar and her son Yishmael because she sees in him sure signs of degeneracy. Avraham is distressed at the prospect of banishing his son, but HaShem tells him to listen to whatever Sarah tells him to do. After nearly dying of thirst in the desert, Yishmael is rescued by an angel, and HaShem promises that he will be the progenitor of a mighty nation.

Avimelech enters into an alliance with Avraham when he sees that HaShem is with him. In a tenth and final test, HaShem instructs Avraham to take Yitschak who is now 37, and offer him as a sacrifice. Avraham does this, in spite of ostensibly aborting Jewish nationhood, and contradicting his life-long preaching against human sacrifice. At the last moment, HaShem sends an angel to stop Avraham. Because of his unquestioning obedience, HaShem now promises Avraham that even if the Jewish People sin, they will never be completely dominated by their foes. The Parashah ends with genealogy and the birth of Rivkah.

Copyright © 2000 World ORT
Notice: This computer program is protected by copyright law and international treaties. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this program, or any portion of it, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.