Parshas Vayeira-Summary of the Parsha

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Parshas Vayeira

Pesukim: 147 [Siman:אמנון ]

Haftorah: Melachim 2 4:1-37[1]

Number of Mitzvos:

There are no Positive or Negative commands mentioned in Parshas Vayeira.

Rishon

  1. Avraham receives guests:
  • Avraham sat in the opening of the tent in the heat of the day when Hashem visited him [on the third day after his circumcision]. Avraham noticed three people coming towards him and he ran to them from the entrance of his tent. Upon approaching them, Avraham bowed to the ground and asked them to come over and have some water, wash their feet, rest under the tree, and eat a fresh meal. The men acquiesced to his request.
  • The meal: Avraham rushed to his tent and asked Sarah to bake bread. Avraham then went on to tell the lad to prepare meat from a fresh slaughtered calf. Avraham served the guests butter and milk and the calf meat.
  1. Avraham and Sarah are blessed with children:
  • The guest then asked Avraham as to the whereabouts of his wife and then promised them that they will have a son next year.
  • Sarah was already past menopause and Avraham was old, and she thus laughed at the suggestion that she could still bare a child. Hashem asked Avraham as to why his wife laughed at the notion of her giving birth, as nothing is outside of Hashem’s hands.
  • Hashem reassured Avraham that he will have a son.

 

Sheiyni

  • Sarah denied having scorned with disbelief the blessing of children that she received.

 

  1. Avraham defends the city of Sedom:
  • Avraham sees the guests walk off towards the city of Sedom.
  • Hashem tells Avraham of his plan to destroy the five cities of the metropolitan of Sedom.
  • Avraham implores Hashem to spare the city if there are Tzadikim in the city. Hashem replies to Avraham that there are not even ten Tzaddikim in the city.

 

Shelishi

  1. The destruction of Sodom:
  • Lot hosts the angels: Two angels arrived to Sodom and saw Lot sitting by the entrance of the city. Lot greeted the angels and invited them to come over to his home and bathe and sleep. The people of Sodom surround the home and ask for the guests to be taken out. Lot offered the mob his daughters instead. The mob is stricken with blindness.
  • Lot’s escape: The angels take Lot, his wife, and his daughters out of the city. Lot requests not to go to Avraham, but rather to a nearby city that has few sins.

 

Revi’i

  • The angels acquiesce to Lot’s request and don’t destroy this city. Lot arrives to Tzoar.
  • The destruction of Sodom: Hashem rained upon Sodom and Amora fire and brimstone, and turned over the city of Sodom and its neighboring cities.
  • Lots wife: As they were fleeing from the city, Lots wife turned around and turned into a pillar of salt.
  • Avraham viewed the aftermath of destruction of the city and saw smoke arising from that area.
  1. Lot and his daughters:
  • Lot and his daughters are afraid to remain in Tzoar and they thus move to the mountains.
  • The daughters, fearing the end of mankind, gave their father wine and slept with him, for the sake of having offspring. They became pregnant and each had a child from their father. The older daughter gave birth to a son called Moav while the younger daughter gave birth to a son called Amon.
  1. Sarah is abducted by Avimelech:
  • Avraham moves to the province of Avimelech and tells them that Sarah is his sister.
  • Avimelech takes Sarah to be his wife.
  • Hashem came to Avimelech in a dream and warned him against touching Sarah, lest he die, as she is a married woman. Avimelech argues with Hashem, saying that he is innocent, as he was told that she is his sister, and not married.
  • Avimelech was forced to return Sarah to Avaraham. Avraham was asked to pray for them [to be healed], and Avimelech severely warned his townspeople from touching Sarah.
  • Avimelech confronted Avraham for misleading him, and in the end Avimelech gave Avraham and Sarah cattle and money to compensate them for their suffering.
  • Avraham davened for them to be healed, as all of their body cavities were sealed, and Hashem answered his prayers.
  1. Sarah gives birth to Yitzchak:
  • Hashem remembers the promise she made to Sarah and she conceives.
  • She gave birth to a son for Avraham, exactly a year from the previous year’s prediction.
  • Avraham named the son, Yitzchak, and circumcised him at eight days old, as he was commanded.

 

Chamishi

  • Avraham was 100 years old at the time of birth.
  • When Yitzchak was weaned at 24 months, Avraham and Sarah made a big feast.
  1. Yishmael and Hagar are expelled from the home:
  • Yishmael was mischievous, and performed dangerous and forbidden activity.
  • Sarah asked Avraham to expel Yishmael and his mother from the home, and remove him from being his heir. Avraham was very distressed over this request. Hashem reassures Avraham to listen to the request of his wife, and that his son Yishmael will be looked after. Yishmael will become a great nation with many descendants
  • Angel saves Yishmael: That morning Avraham sent off Yishmnael and his mother with some bread and a flask of water. The water was quickly finished, and a sick Yishmael was placed under a bush, by his mother Hagar, who went to the side and cried in prayer. Hashem heard their prayers and sent an angel to help them. Suddenly, a well appeared, from which Hagar gave Yishmael to drink.
  • They lived in the desert of Paran, and Hashem was with the lad. Yishmael became an archer. His mother Hagar married him off to a girl from Egypt.

 

Shishi

  1. Avraham and Avimelech make a treaty:
  • After Avimelech saw all the Divine assistance Avraham received, he asked to make a treaty between him and his descendants and Avraham and his descendants. Avraham agreed to the treaty.
  • The fight over the well: Avraham then confronted Avimelech for letting his people steal his well. Avimelech denied any wrongdoing, saying that this is the first time he is hearing of the incident.
  • The treaty: Avraham took cattle and gave it to Avimelech and the two made a treaty. Avraham gave Avimelech seven sheep as a sign of ownership of his well. The area of the well became known as Be’er Sheva.
  • Avraham built a hotel from which he would spread the name of G-d

 

Shevi’i

  1. Akeidas Yitzchak:
  • After the above occurrences, Hashem decided to test Avraham, and asked him to take his son Yitzchak to a certain mountain to be slaughtered like an offering.
  • Avraham did as he was told, and the next morning took with him Yitzchak, the lads, and wood and set forth for the destination to be revealed by G-d.
  • On the third day, Avraham got a glimpse of the area of destination. Avraham told the rest of his encampment to remain set in place and he and Yitzchak will travel alone. Avraham brought with him the wood, fire, and knife.
  • Yitzchak questioned his father as to the whereabouts of the lamb for the offering. Avraham replied that Hashem will show them the lamb.
  • Upon arrival, Avraham built an altar, set up the wood, bound Yitzchak and placed him over the wood that was on the altar.
  • Avraham lifted his hand with knife, ready to slaughter his son. Suddenly, an angel appeared and told Avraham not to slaughter his son. Avraham then saw a ram stuck in the bushes and offered it as an offering instead of his son.
  • Avraham called this mountain, “Hashem Yireh”
  • An angel called out to Avraham a second time and blessed Avraham with an abundance of offspring and descendants.
  • Avraham returned to the encampment and they made their way back to Be’er Sheva.
  1. Avraham is told of the birth of Rivkah:
  • Milkah, the daughter of Nachor, the brother of Avraham, had eight children. One of those children, Besuel, had a daughter named Rivka

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[1] So is followed by most Ashkenazi communities and Chabad. However, some Ashkenazi communities, as well as the Sepharadim read only until verse 4:23.

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