Parasha Vayera                   Week Ending October 27,2018
Torah – Genesis 18:1-22:24               Haftarah – 2 Kings 4:1-37

Brit Chadashah – Luke 1:26-38; 24:36-53; 2 Peter 4-11

Vayera (and He appeared) is a portion of Torah packed with a lot of familiar scenes and so
much to learn. We encounter stories from Abraham’s encounter with the three strangers all the
way to his obedient trip to the mountain to sacrifice his son, which was interrupted by the voice
of the L-RD who substituted a ram caught in a thicket. There are many lessons to be learned
through the events which happen between these two events, not the least of which being the
destruction and judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah.
This year I feel lead to focus on the opening three verses.
Genesis 18:1-3, “Then the L-RD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was
sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold,
three men were standing by him; and when he saw [them], he ran from the tent door to meet
them, and bowed himself to the ground, 3 and said, “My L-rd, if I have now found favor in Your
sight, do not pass on by Your servant.” (NKJV)
We know that Abraham was an amazing man whom G-d referred to as friend. We know he
was eager and hungry to know the One True G-d. We also know the accounts of the
impressive hospitality that he and his wife were known to show to countless numbers of
travelers and others they encountered.
These two traits intersect here as the study opens. Abraham, on the third and most painful day
after circumcision, was sitting in the door of his tent. His tent was said to be opened on all
sides that he may spot travelers coming from far away in order that he may greet them and
treat them to his hospitality, which he used to share the knowledge of the One True G-d to the
polytheistic world around him.
The lesson I want all of us to take to heart this week is that Abraham was alert and looking for
an opportunity to serve and to be used by G-d. Of course, we know that in this particular
account it was G-d Himself who received the hospitality.
Do we want to get G-d’s attention? Do we want to be known as a friend of G-d? I trust the
answer to these questions is a resounding “yes!” We ought then to model the lessons shown
by Abraham. He was looking for opportunities to serve. Don’t wait for something to happen,
actively look where you can get involved in G-d’s plan.
Abraham humbled himself by bowing. There is a certain humility involved in being gracious
and hospitable to others, especially strangers. Remember there are plenty of examples of
humility that are spoken of throughout Scripture. Does the name Moses ring a bell?
There are other lessons and examples of how we can emulate this great father of the faith, but
lastly I will point out that Abraham called himself a servant. In today’s church world, we like to
throw around titles. We like to think of ourselves as kings and priests. We call ourselves a
child of the king and so on. While these things are true, it would be much better for us to keep
those things in mind, but only behind what should be our primary title…servant.
As we practice hospitality, we open the door to opportunity. When we humble ourselves and
serve others we get their attention and now we have an opportunity to share with them not only
the knowledge of the One True G-d, but we, in our time, have the chance to reveal His
Salvation, Yeshua (Jesus!)
Shalom!

Lekh Lekha    Week ending October 20, 2018
Torah – Genesis 12:1-17:27                     Haftarah – Isaiah 40:27-41:16

Brit Chadashah – Romans 4:1-25; Galatians 4:21-5:1; Hebrews 7
This week, the third week in the book of Bereshit (Genesis), we look at Lekh Lekha (Go forth
yourself.) There is much to study here and some pretty amazing things to be certain. You likely
know from years past I love how the first seven parashot (portions) line up with the six days of
creation and the seventh or Sabbath day of rest.
This year I am going to focus on one short piece of the Scripture found at the beginning of our
verses. It is likely something that has escaped your attention in the past. I will bring it to your
attention and hopefully show you how this ancient text is relevant to you here and now in your
own life!
Genesis 12:1-5, “Now the L-RD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family
And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I
will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who
bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be
blessed.” 4 So Abram departed as the L-RD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And
Abram [was] seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Then Abram took Sarai his
wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people
whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they
came to the land of Canaan.” (NKJV)
Did you catch anything that perhaps sounded a little odd? After G-d gives some instructions
to Avram (Abram) we see the account of Avram’s response.
Take a look at verse 5. You will read an accounting of what Avram took with him when he
embarked upon the journey G-d was calling him to go on. The last thing mentioned was the
souls which he had gathered! Have you ever noticed this or wondered what it meant?
I’ll try to make it make sense to you here. There are a few things going on that when they
come together will make it clear.
The sages teach us that Avram was the original G-d seeker. G-d was looking for a man to
make covenant with in order to bring about G-d’s plan for humanity. This at the same time that
Avram had come to the conclusion that polytheism and idolatry were false constructs. Avram
seemed to instinctively know that there had to be One G-d responsible for creating and
maintaining the world and all that there was.
When Avram came to this conclusion, he became what we would call today an evangelist.
Avram was intent on spreading the “good news” that he had learned! These souls, therefore,
were those that Avram had taught and convinced of this truth.
In next week’s parasha, you will see an example of this in that both Avram and Sarai had their
tents open on all sides. This, the sages say, was to be able to welcome travelers from any
direction. They were incredibly hospitable, but they also used this hospitality to share the good
news of the One True G-d with everyone they could.
I selected this one point this time around to illustrate the heart I believe the Father desires all of
us to have. It is my prayer that we all have this fire of Avram stirred within us. I pray that we all
are consumed with the desire to not only be hospitable to others, but to use this gift as a tool
to share the Good News that we have. Yes, we have and can share the eternally valid news
that there is indeed One True G-d, but now because of the age in which we live we have the
added bonus to share with people how He came fulfilling the Fall Feasts of ADONAI and
provided once for all Atonement through the blood of Yeshua, our Messiah!
May we all walk in the emunah (trust) that Avram walked in. May we all be true friends of G-d
and cause all manner of men and women to befriend G-d as well. Shalom!