29 Kislev 5782 / Friday, December 03, 2021 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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Parshat Vayera

God reveals Himself to Avraham (Abraham) three days after the first Jew's circumcision at age 99; but Avraham rushes off to prepare a...


Parshat Vayeira
(Bereishit 18:1-22:24)
God reveals Himself to Avraham (Abraham) three days after the first Jew's circumcision at age 99; but Avraham rushes off to prepare a meal for three guests who appear in the desert heat. One of the three -- who are angels disguised as men -- announces that, in exactly one year, the barren Sarah will give birth to a son. Sarah laughs.
Avraham pleads with God to spare the wicked city of Sodom. Two of the three disguised angels arrive in the doomed city, where Avraham's nephew, Lot, extends his hospitality to them and protects them from the evil intentions of a Sodomite mob. The two guests reveal that they have come to overturn the place, and to save Lot and his family. Lot's wife turns into a pillar of salt when she disobeys the command not to look back at the burning city as they flee.
While taking shelter in a cave, Lot's two daughters (believing that they and their father are the only ones left alive in the world) get their father drunk, lie with him, and become pregnant. The two sons born from this incident father the nations of Moab and Amon.
Avraham moves to Gerar, where the Philistine king Avimelech takes Sarah -- who is presented as Avraham's sister -- to his palace. In a dream, God warns Avimelech that he will die unless he returns the woman to her husband. Avraham explains that he feared he would be killed over the beautiful Sarah.
God remembers His promise to Sarah and gives her and Avraham a son, who is named Yitzchak (Issac), meaning "will laugh". Yitzchak is circumcised at the age of eight days; Avraham is 100 years old, and Sarah 90, at their child's birth.
Hagar and Ishmael are banished from Avraham's home and wander in the desert; God hears the cry of the dying lad and saves his life by showing his mother a well. Avimelech makes a treaty with Avraham at Be'er Sheva, where Avraham gives him seven sheep as a sign of their truce.
God tests Avraham's devotion by commanding him to sacrifice Yitzchak on Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. Yitzchak is bound and placed on the altar, and Avraham raises the knife to slaughter his son. A voice from heaven calls to stop him; a ram, caught in the undergrowth by its horns, is offered in Isaac's place. Avraham receives the news of the birth of a daughter, Rivka (Rebecca), to his nephew Bethuel.
(Used with permission from www.chabad.org)

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