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Vayeira ~ 5774 ~ וירא
Abraham sees three men passing by, chases them, invites them to his home and prepares a feast for them. One of the Angels tells Abraham that Sarah shall give birth. Hearing this news, Sarah laughed to herself, to which G-d then reiterated the Blessing Himself. Sarah denies laughing because she fears G-d’s anger. The “men” journey to Sodom as G-d explains their mission of destruction to Abraham who bargains with G-d in an attempt to save Sodom. G-d consecutively agrees not to destroy Sodom if there are 50, 45, 40, 30, 20 or even just 10 righteous men.
Lot saw the two Angels coming and like Abraham, invited them into his home. The men of Sodom then came to Lot’s home to do “evil” to his guests. Lot offers his own daughters to the mob in an attempt to save the guests. The angels give instructions to Lot on how to escape the destruction. Thinking the entire World is destroyed, Lot’s daughters conceive a plan to repopulate the World. While living in Gerara, Abraham “fears for his life” and refers to Sarah as his sister, causing the near-exact repetition of the previous incident with Pharaoh. Sarah conceives and gives birth to Isaac.
Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. When Isaac was weaned, Abraham made a special celebration at which time Sarah saw Ishmael taunting Isaac. Sarah demands they be banished; G-d instructs Abraham to listen to Sarah. Lost in the desert and suffering greatly, G-d saves Hagar and Ishmael and blesses them. Avimelech makes a peace treaty with Abraham. Part of the negotiations include Avimelech’s admittance that the water wells belong to Abraham. G-d commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, upon a mountain He shall specify. When Abraham is about to kill Isaac, he is stopped by an Angel. After receiving a special blessing, Abraham sacrifices a ram instead of Isaac, and then returns to Be’er Sheva.
MAFTIR Genesis 22:20–24 ~ page 76
HAFTARAH II Kings 4:1 – 37 ~ page 76-78
Elijah, the prophet, miraculously saves a poor widow’s two children from being sold for her debts. From the single vessel of oil she possesses, she is able to fill numerous jars with its contents and repay her creditors. The Shunammite woman yearns for a son. Elijah repays her hospitality by the promise of an heir in a year’s time (paralleled by the similar promise made to Sarah). The child is born and when a little older suffers from sunstroke and is seemingly dead. In response to the mother’s pleas of anguish, Elisha comes to the child and revives him.