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“And Hashem tested Avraham.” (22:1)

Hashem elevated Avraham to become a beacon illuminating mankind’s path. When Hashem called Avraham, his response was immediate: hbbv -I am ready, I am prepared for any sacrifice, any deed which is requested of me. hbbv denotes the unconditional compliance in advance of the actual order. Avraham reflects the fierce determination to comply with the command before subjecting it to critical review and personal judgment. This hbbv manifests the obedience with which man raises himself to join the angels’ heavenly chorus “to obey the voice of His word” (Tehillim 103:20).   This hbbv was the legacy Avraham bequeathed to his…

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“Fear not for Hashem has listened to the voice of the boy in the condition he is now.” (21:17)

After being ordered out of Avraham’s house, Hagar and her son Yishmael stumbled through the wilderness. Yishmael became feverish and drank all the water available to quench his burning thirst. He could no longer walk by himself and his mother could not hold him any longer. She put him down under a bush, and moved away to pray for his life saying, “I can no longer watch the child dying.” Yishmael also prayed and Hashem responded to his prayer, not Hagar’s. This is because Yishmael had the merit of being Avraham’s son, and also because he performed teshuva (repentance) at…

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“And Hashem said, the cry of Sodom and Amorrah is great, and their sin is exceedingly great.” (18:20)

We should consider the extent of Sodom’s sins vis-a-vis the various other cities whose transgressions were also great. Indeed, the Baal Ha’Akeidah states that the famed sin of vgcdc adkp was far greater than those of Sodom, for in Sodom they allowed visitors to sleep in the street, while in Givhah even this was not permissible. There was however, a uniqueness to Sodom’s transgressions. Their immoral behavior originated from a depraved philosophy which later became a code of law. Their fear of having their lush, fertile land overrun with visitors caused them to legislate and enact the repulsive statutes for…

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“And Hashem appeared to him and he sat in the doorway of the tent.” (18:1)

Rashi explains that in order to spare Avraham the burden of guests during his recovery from the bris milah, Hashem removed the sun from its “container.” Upon seeing him grieve because of a lack of visitors, however, He brought the angels to Avraham in human form. It seems puzzling that Hashem would send angels instead of humans. Would it not have been more appropriate to send poor people rather than angels, thereby allowing Avraham to perform the actual mitzvah of tzedakah (charity) and hachnasas orchim (hospitality for wayfarers)? We may derive an important lesson from the meaning of these very…

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