Parashat Vayera

By Rabbi Yosef Shemtov:

This weekly portion starts with Hashem appearing to Avraham Avinu while he was sitting by the door of his tent. The Torah doesn’t record if Hashem had any message for him. It seems Hashem just came to see him. The rabbis explain that since Avraham had just undergone brit mila surgery, Hashem came to do bikur kholim ( visiting sick people). In fact, the Gemara learns from here that just as Hashem visits sick people, we should do the same. It is very interesting to note that Avraham Avinu was sitting by his tent looking for guests to bring home. Avraham Avinu’s life was all about kindness. He would invite guests in order to teach them about G-d.

Let’s see. Avraham Avinu just had surgery. This was his third day after mila, the most painful day of recovery. Still, he does not give up the mitzvah of kindness of having quests. Anybody else might tell himself that he deserves to take a few days off and rest, but not Avraham. He has so much love for people that he doesn’t care about his own pain. Hashem sends him three angels and Avraham, thinking they are humans, goes to big trouble to provide them with the best food.

After this incident Hashem chooses him to be the fourth leg of his chariot. Hashem says, “If I want to destroy Sodom and Amora, I need to discuss it with Avraham.” Kindness is one of the pillars that the world stands on, but true kindness is when you are ready to sacrifice your comfort for others. That’s the lesson we learn from Avraham Avinu.

Shabbat Shalom