December 17, 2018 |

Vayera

Vayera follow up

When Vayera came around again this year, I talked about my previous d'var with my Torah study group. The big question, for me, was: OK, if Abraham's error was to doubt G-d's justice, is this parasha telling us that G-d just wants blind obedience and/or faith? Just obey, just have faith, no matter...

Vayera -- Abraham's apostasy and the Akeda

From a standpoint of ordinary human ethics, Vayera is perhaps the most difficult of all the parashot. When we read the Akeda, those of us with children shudder at the thought of a man unhinged enough to offer up his own son as a sacrifice, and cringe at a G-d who would put him to that kind of test....

How To Increase Your Love of Hashem

In just a couple of weeks we have a novel project beginning in our shul. And I especially want everyone—men and women-- to consider participating in this project. It requires a time commitment of approximately 12-15 hours but it is definitely worth it. We will be the first Orthodox synagogue in...

Hospitality

Having a guest at your home can change the course of their life. It happens all the time. Sometimes, the change is subtle, over the course of a hundred Shabbat dinners. Sometimes, it is dramatic, a single encounter that alters the vector of a person's journey completely. A family I knew in Jerusalem...

Parshat Vayera: Walkthrough

(Recall, at the end of last week’s Parsha, 99-year-old Avraham has circumcised himself, Ishmael, and every other man in sight.) So God appears to Avraham as he was at the front door of his tent in the middle of the day: Avraham looks up and what do you know – there are 3 men standing there. He...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Vayera (3)

The story of Lot is a baffling one. What we remember is that his wife turns to a pillar of salt, but that’s actually the least interesting part of the story. When a Sodomite mob demands he produce his male guests (actually angels) for implied gang rape, his response is to offer his virgin...

Early Childhood Education

I'm not an expert in early childhood education, but I was a kid once and I have three growing children who are rapidly learning about themselves, their values and their world. Aside from a few songs and various bits of material that I must have re-learned many times since then, I don't remember very...

My video divrei Torah on this parasha from youtube

Tower of Babel vs Abraham's Call Lech lecha jewu 440 How do non-Jews achieve salvation? Noahide laws JewU 155 Torah portion Noah and the flood JewU 60Sputnik, Bears half-time speech and rainbows JewU 245 Noah, water-too much and too little JewU 247

VaYeira 5769/2008: “Which Fire?”

© Rabbi Menachem Creditor When we tell the story of the Akeidah, the Binding of Isaac, how do we tell it? Do we dare question the God who commands the unthinkable? Do we allow the text which portrays God this way to push us completely away from faith, rejecting the troubling image? Do we...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Vayera (2)

When Sarah is told she will have a child in her old age she laughs and says, “Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment – with my husband so old?” (Gen 18:12). When God quotes this to Abraham, He puts it this way, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am?’”...

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