Vayerah

Dear Congregants:

The Pasuk in Michah says “Titen emet le’Ya’akov Hesed le’Avraham..” Avraham Avinu was the greatest Ba’al Hesed that ever lived. He is the example of kindness for all generations. In this week’s Parashah we have a glimpse into Avraham’s extraordinary proclivity to bestow goodness upon his fellow man.

The Parashah begins with Hashem visiting Avraham on the third and most painful day of his Berit Milah. Let’s not forget that Avraham was 99 years when he had his Berit. Hashem purposely made it a very hot day to prevent guests from passing by Avraham’s tent. This did not deter Avraham. In the heat of the day and in his debilitated state he actually sat at then entrance of his tent waiting for strangers to pass. Hashem saw that even in his state of excruciating pain Avraham felt bad about having no guests upon whom to bestow kindness. Hashem therefore sent 3 angels disguised as human beings to pass by Avraham’s tent. Avraham ran to them, humbly bowed to them and begged them to come to him for some bread. After they acquiesced, Avraham immediately ran to Sarah and told her to bake cookies. Avraham then ran to the animals and gave three calves to his lad to prepare for them. He then took cream, milk and the meat and put it before the guests who then pretended to eat.

Rabbi Yehudah Berachah , in his book Torat Yehudah, makes an interesting observation. Avraham gave his wife, Sarah, an easy job while he took the crux of the meal upon himself. He only asked Sarah to bake cookies. Avraham did not want to burden his wife too much. Therefore, he left the hard part for himself. Says Rabbi Berachah that the lesson here is that a person should not do kindness at the expense of his wife. Sometimes a person can become so gung-ho about performing kindness for others that he can become inconsiderate of his wife. How ironic! A person can become so excited about kindness to strangers that he can become unkind to the person he is most obligated to honor and cherish – his wife. May we merit to follow in the footsteps of our forefather Avraham and become true people of Kindness.

Have a Shabbat Shalom.

Rabbi Shemtob

Tiferet Rafael