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And Avraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a ram afterwards caught in the thicket by his horns . . . and he took the ram and brought him up for a burnt-offering instead of his son. (22:13)

The Midrash states that Avraham saw that the horns of the ram always became entangled in the bushes. The ram became entangled in one shrub and freed itself, only to immediately be caught in another shrub.  Noting this phenomenon, Hashem told Avraham, “Similarly your children will be ensnared and trapped by one exile after another. They will go from Bavel, to Media, onto Greece, and lastly to Rome. In the end they will finally be redeemed by the Shofar sound of this ram’s horn.” This Midrash seems enigmatic. Why would Hashem choose this moment to tell Avraham the bad news…

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On the third day, Avraham lifted up his eyes and he saw the place from afar and Avraham said to his young men, abide you here with the donkey. (22:4,5)

Chazal explain Avraham’s vision. He saw a cloud attached to the mountain. This symbolizes Hashem’s presence over the mountain, waiting for Avraham and Yitzchak’s arrival. Avraham asked Yitzchak, “Do you see what I see?” “Yes, I do,” responded Yitzchak. Avraham subsequently questioned his servants, “What do you see?” When they answered, “Nothing,” he concluded, “Since the donkey does not see, and you as well do not see, you are no better than the donkey.  Therefore, stay here with the donkey.” This Midrash does not seem consistent with other Midrashim, which state that these two servants were actually Eliezer and Yishmael….

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For I have known him to the end that he may command his children and his household after him. (18:19)

Various means are available to infuse our children with a love for Torah and an appreciation of its mitzvos.  Most of these methods are successful only under the immediate direction of the guardian or teacher. Our mission as parents and educators is to imbue our charges with such a devotion that, when the child has grown up and attained the independence which comes with adulthood, he will continue to attach importance to the teachings of parents and former teachers. Rabbi S.R.  Hirsch z.t.l.  explains that such obedience, which develops as the child matures, is the prime objective of all education….

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And Hashem appeared unto him (Avraham) in Elonei Mamre . . . and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold three men stood over him and he ran to meet them . . . and he took curd and milk and the calf which he prepared and set it before them. (18:1,2,8)

The Torah’s narrative elaborates Avraham’s unparalleled performance of hachnosas orchim, hospitality to wayfarers. Indeed, many halachos regarding the proper performance of chesed, kindness, are derived from this pasuk. Rabbi A. Pam, Shlita, makes a noteworthy observation. When Avraham noticed the three strangers, he was personally in the midst of receiving the Shechinah. He was completely withdrawn from any form of physical sensation. The world of gashmius, materialism, was theoretical. When the opportunity to perform kindness surfaced, however, he immediately turned to prepare food for the guests. Nothing was spared. A sumptuous meal with all of the trimmings was prepared. Suddenly,…

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