Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!


Back to Home -> Vayeira -> 5778

ברך עלינו... את השנה הזאת

Bareich aleinu… es ha’shanah ha’zos. Bless upon us… this year.

We begin the prayer for sustenance with the acknowledgement that everything – every penny – comes from Hashem. Indeed, one who does not acknowledge Hashem’s complete control over his livelihood takes the chance, when things do not go his way, of engaging in illicit behaviors, even acts of perjury and theft. One who trusts in Hashem knows that he will earn whatever Hashem wants him to earn: no more; no less. Now, when we begin our day with the realization that all of our blessings are Heaven-sent, and that what we will earn is specifically the product of Hashem’s decree,…

Continue Reading

וישב אברהם אל נעריו... וישב אברהם בבאר שבע

Avraham returned to his young men… and Avraham stayed at Be’er Sheva. (22:19)

Avraham Avinu returned home – with his two aides – but where was Yitzchak Avinu? Four people left for the mountain; three returned home. Yitzchak must have taken a different route. The Midrash Rabbah explains that Yitzchak took a detour to study Torah in the yeshivah of Shem (son of Noach). Targum Yonasan adds that Yitzchak studied there for three years, until he met Rivkah Imeinu. Was something wrong with Avraham’s yeshivah? It seems to have sufficed for thirty-seven years. Why did he change? Certainly Shem was not a better rebbe than Avraham. Horav Moshe Neriyah, zl, quotes the Rambam,…

Continue Reading

וישכם אברהם בבקר ויחבש את חמרו

So Avraham woke up early in the morning, and he saddled his donkey. (22:3)

The above pasuk teaches us about Avraham Avinu’s alacrity to serve Hashem. The Almighty instructed him regarding a mission. Avraham did not tarry. He went about performing the mission at the earliest possible moment. The Tur Orach Chaim 1:1 begins with this idea: “That you should ‘wake’ the morning – rather than (have) the morning wake you.” Likewise, in Shulchan Aruch 1:1, the Bais Yosef writes his well-known opening words: “Arise like a lion, to get up in the morning to serve his Creator; that you should wake up the morning.” While this concept is probably the last thing that…

Continue Reading

והאלקים נסה את אברהם

And G-d tested Avraham. (22:1)

Was it only Avraham Avinu’s nisayon, test? One would think that Yitzchak Avinu, the korban, sacrifice-elect, was playing a leading role in this nisayon. Why is our Patriarch Avraham singled out – as opposed to Yitzchak? Horav Moshe Neriyah, zl, offers an insightful explanation which underscores the significance of Torah chinuch, especially that which is taught at home from parent to child. Avraham taught his son, Yitzchak, to fear Hashem. He taught him well – to the point that our second Patriarch was prepared to become an olah, offering, to Hashem. Va’yeilchu shneihem yachdav; “And the two of them (father…

Continue Reading

נברכו בו כל גויי הארץ

And all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by him. (18:18)

All the nations shall bless themselves through Avraham Avinu, and, by extension, his descendants – Klal Yisrael. Avraham set the standard for the world population to emulate – so should we. Previously, in Parashas Lech Lecha (12.2), Hashem told Avraham, V’heyei brachah; “And you shall be a blessing.” You will have the power to bless whomever you wish (Rashi). Ramban interprets this to mean that Avraham will be the standard by which people will bless themselves. Indeed, this is a powerful and frightening mandate for us – as his descendants. We must live up to our responsibility to set the…

Continue Reading

ויאמרו אליו איה שרה אשתך ויאמר הנה באהל

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” and he said, “Behold! She is in the tent.” (18:9)

Three angels, disguised as Arabs, were welcomed by Avraham Avinu to his tent. After “partaking” of a luscious and satiating meal, the angels prepared for their real mission: to inform Avraham and Sarah Imeinu that they would soon be the progenitors of the next Patriarch. The angels inquired about Sarah’s whereabouts, to which Avraham answered, “She is in the tent.” Rashi explains that the angels were quite aware that Sarah was in the tent. The intent of their query was merely to endear Sarah to Avraham by underscoring the fact that she was a tznuah, a modest/chaste woman. Avraham’s vocalization…

Continue Reading

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

You have Successfully Subscribed!