Vayeira 5780-2019

"The Preciousness of Hospitality"
(Updated and Revised from Vayeira 5760-1999)

While 99-year-old Abraham is recovering from his recent circumcision, he sees potential guests on the horizon. Despite his pain, he quickly runs toward the wayfarers and begs them not to pass by his tent without accepting his hospitality. There is much we can learn from Abraham’s manner of welcoming guests. It is essential that we not lose the capacity to properly perform the noble and ennobling mitzvah of “Hachnassat Orchim.”

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Vayeira 5774-2013

“Greater than Welcoming the Divine Presence”

Is welcoming guests a greater mitzvah than welcoming the Divine Presence? Perhaps they are of equal value?       

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Yitro 5768-2008

"Welcoming Jethro, the Idolatrous Priest"

Why was Jethro, a former pagan idolater, welcomed so enthusiastically by Moses, Aaron and the people of Israel? It may very well have been in return for Jethro's courageous renunciation of idolatry. Perhaps it was in return for Jethro's exceptional acts of kindness that he performed for Moses, when Moses, claiming to be an Egyptian prince, arrived in Midian as a rather pathetic penniless refugee.

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Lech Lecha 5767-2006

"The Souls That Were Made in Haran"

In this week's parasha we read of Abram's journey from Haran to Canaan. Abram not only takes his family and his belongings to Canaan, but also the "souls that he had made in Haran." The rabbis offer a number of interpretations of who or what these "souls" are. However, the big question remains: What ever happened to those "souls"?

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Lech Lecha 5766-2005

"Abraham, Father of the Jewish Nation"

Abraham plays such a key role in the development of the Jewish people and in the world arena that there are more chapters devoted to his life than to the creation of the world and to the previous 20 generations of humankind. It is Abraham's ethical and moral character that leads to Abraham being the chosen of G-d. The multi-talented Abraham becomes the religious and nationalistic leader of Israel, and the forefather who takes hold of the land of Israel/Canaan for the Jewish people.

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Vayeira 5763-2002

"Sodom: The Home of Institutionalized Evil"

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in Sodom? Both the biblical texts and the accompanying Midrashic literature vividly describe the extraordinary evil practiced by people of Sodom, where virtue was declared vice and vice, virtue. Unfortunately, there are elements of Sodom that may be found in aspects of our contemporary society as well. If we are to protect ourselves from these harmful influences, we need to be on the alert and learn to identify those evil aspects.

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Vayeira 5760-1999

"The Preciousness of Hospitality"

The 99-year-old Abraham is recovering from his recent circumcision when he sees potential guests on the horizon. Despite his pain, he quickly runs towards the wayfarers and begs them not to pass by his tent without accepting his hospitality. There is much to learn from Abraham's manner of welcoming guests. It is essential that we not lose the capacity to perform the important mitzvah of "Ha'chanasat Orchim."

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0 Comments10 Minutes