Parasha Chayei Sarah         Week ending November 3, 2018
Torah – Genesis 23:1-25:18          Haftarah – 1 Kings 1:1-31                 Brit Chadashah – Matthew 1:1-17
Chayei Sarah (the life of Sarah) is a fairly short portion of Torah, but it contains some extremely
important lessons. This year we are going to look at one small portion and draw out of it two
lessons for you to consider as you study for yourself this great parasha (portion.)
Genesis 24:14-19, “Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your
pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’–[let] her
[be the one] You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have
shown kindness to my master.” 15 And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that
behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s
brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. 16 Now the young woman [was] very
beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her
pitcher, and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little
water from your pitcher.” 18 So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher
down to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 And when she had finished giving him a drink, she
said, “I will draw [water] for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” (NKJV)
First, notice in verse 14 the prayer that the servant offers up. The sign included that the girl
would give him a drink and give drinks to his camels. I bring this up to point out that G-d did
not answer him exactly the way he prayed. Because he was seeking His will and because this
indeed was the woman G-d had chosen that the woman responded above and beyond the
request. She did not just give the camels drink, but she went well beyond. She offered, and
HURRIED to give the camels enough to satisfy their desire to drink.
It would have been enough and technically an answer to prayer if she gave the servant water
and then put out some water for the thirsty animals. But again she went above and beyond on
this one.
Have you ever thought to consider how much water that had to have been? According to
National Geographic, a thirsty camel can drink 30 (thirty) gallons of water in as short a time
period as 13 minutes! That’s a lot of water! But we are not talking about a single camel,
Scripture tells us the servant had ten camels with him. That is quite possibly 300 (three
hundred) gallons of water! No wonder she hurried!
Let’s do a little more math here. Water weighs approximately 8.3 pounds per gallon. If the girl
had a five gallon container, it would have weighed 41.5 pounds! Are you seeing where I’m
going with this? She would have had to run to the well and draw out about forty-one and a half
pounds of water up to sixty times! It would have taken sixty trips to provide the 300 gallons of
water weighing a total of 2,490 pounds!!!
This is extraordinary to say the least. I wonder how many of us would be willing to go through
so much trouble to meet the needs of a single stranger and his animals. I especially wonder if
we would do it even if we had no idea that there would be any immediate blessing attached to
our act of kindness. I further wonder if we would be so inclined if we would do so with
enthusiasm so that others would look at us and say that we were quick to perform such an act
of kindness?
How much of yourself are you willing to give for the Kingdom of G-d without expectation of
some tangible, immediate return? Are you willing to give all to the Messiah Yeshua? Will you
do so quickly and whole-heartedly? Let us all examine our hearts this Shabbat and coming
week of study. Shalom!

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!