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Parshat Vayera

This week’s parsha is Parshat Vayera. The title is actually the first word of the entire parsha. It begins by saying, “וַיֵּרָ֤א אֵלָיו֙ הֹ' בְּאֵלֹנֵ֖י מַמְרֵ֑א וְה֛וּא יֹשֵׁ֥ב פֶּֽתַח־הָאֹ֖הֶל כְּחֹ֥ם הַיּֽוֹם," meaning “And Hashem appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre, and he was sitting at the opening of his tent as the day grew hot.”

In this pasuk, "he" is referring to Avraham. According to Rashi, Hashem appeared to Avraham to visit him because he had just had his Brit Mila at the age of ninety-nine. Moreover, Rashi tells us that he was sitting at the opening of his tent rather than standing because Hashem told him that he must sit. From this we can infer that, really, Avraham wanted to stand. He waited for guests at the opening of his tent on an excruciatingly hot day even after going through a Brit Mila at such a late stage of his life.

Avraham is known for his love of Hachnasat Orchim, hospitality to guests, and he was exceptional at this mitzvah. He did not only welcome in travelers, but he also waited for them to arrive. He always offered food and drink to his guests so they never had to ask first. Even on a day when he was in such pain, we see that Avraham does not only care for his guests, but he encourages them to come.

We must learn from Avraham’s actions. He shows us not only to care for others but that we must make an effort to make them happy, regardless of our personal situation. He always went out of his way to make guests feel comfortable and we too must take it upon ourselves to tend to anyone that may need it. It says “'וַיֵּרָ֤א אֵלָיו֙ ה”, Hashem appeared to him. Hashem came to Avraham to care for him, yet Avraham still took it upon himself to care for others. There was no hesitation, no need for his guests to even make a request. Avraham treated them like royalty. He even refers to himself as their servant when they first arrive. Avraham demonstrates incomparable hospitality, and although we may never reach his level of generosity, we must try to accommodate the needs of others just like he did.

Shabbat Shalom!

By: Riley Spitz (9th Grade)

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