Torah Teaser – Parshat Vayeira Questions & Answers – October 29 2115 – 5776

Did Avrohom Bring Yitzchok For a Korban? We all understand Akeidas Yitzchok to be a test for Avrohom that was called off at the last moment. Rav Elyashiv says that this understanding falls short of the Mesiras Nefesh of the Akeida. He explains that the Akeida actually happened. “True,” he says, “Yitzchok’s neck was not cut, however, he already forfeited his life and the Mesiras Nefesh was complete. It is like a lost object after all hope is lost. It no longer belongs to the owner even if it is completely intact.”
Rav Elyashiv proves this delicate point from the words of the pasuk (Vayeira 22:16) where the Malach tells Avrohom that he will be blessed, “Yaan Asher Asisa Es HaDavar HaZeh,” because you “did” the Akeida and not because you were “ready” to do it. Also, it says that Avrohom lifted his head and saw, ‘Ayil Acher Neechaz BaSvach; Another ram in the bushes.” Rav Elyashiv says that this means in addition to his son whom he just slaughtered.
“Therefore,” says Rav Elyashiv,”when Yitzchok left the Akeida he was no longer the old Yitzchok, rather he was a newborn person.” Rav Elyashiv proves this from the words of the Malach who tells Avrohom, “Al Tishlach Yadcha El HaNaar; Do not touch the child.” In this case we see the Malach did not call him Yitzchok, but opted for the word child as he was newly reborn and had no name yet.

The Daughters of the Tzaddik of Sidom Immediately after the destruction of Sidom the Torah tells us the the story of how Lot’s daughters got him drunk and had children with him. The Chasam Sofer says that the Torah does this to give us a taste of the immorality of the people of Sidom. For those who may feel that the punishment of the people of Sidom was too harsh, the Torah shows us what terribly immoral acts Lot and his daughters, who were the “tzaddikim” of Sidom, were capable of plotting. We can only imagine what the Reshaim of Sidom were capable of.

Every Quack That Claims To Know The Future? Three Arabs travelers show up at Avrohom and Sara’s tent on a very hot sunny day. Avrohom gives then the royal treatment. They are fed fresh tongue and other delicacies. The service is top notch as the 99 year old man, his wife, and their entire staff run around to supply everything they could ask for and more. After resting and eating, one of the Arabs pipes up and says to Avrohom whose wife has not had a child and is 89 years old, “You know, next year I am going to be back around this way again, and I guarantee you that your wife will have a baby son.” This is pretty funny. Why was Sara taken to task for laughing at this scene?
The Ramban asks this question and answers that the pasuk says that Sara laughed “Bikirba” deep inside. Meaning she mocked the entire notion that such a thing was possible. She rejected, not the Arab’s prophesy which would have been acceptable, rather she rejected the possibility that such a thing could happen. “What she should have done,” says the Ramban, “was believe that it could happen and raise a tefila to Hashem by saying, ‘Amein Kein Yehi Ratzon.'”
The Baalei Mussar say that everything you see and every word you hear is meant to be seen and heard by you, and it’s all for a reason. The messenger is not the main part, the message is. Ignoring all the circumstances surrounding the message you must ask yourself, “What is the underlying message and how should I respond?”
Did The Malachim Eat Avrohom’s Food? The pasuk says that the three visitors, who we know were Malachim, came to Avrohom, and they ate (Vayeira 18:8). Did they really eat or did they pretend to eat? Did they digest it or burn it? Does burning it justify the word, “Vayocheilu,” and they ate?
The Malbim says that what they did with the food is irrelevant. The words, “They ate,” are justified in this case. “Eating,” says the Malbim, “does not necessarily refer to food. When something sustains itself on another thing it is called eating.” As the Malvim continues to explain, “For example, fire eats wood. Hashem ‘eats’ Korbanos, since the Korbanos sustain the presence of the Shechina in this world.”
Every mitzva that a person does creates a Malach. “The three Malachim that came to visit Avrohom,” says the Malbim, “were Malachim of Chesed that were created through Avrohom’s abundance of Chesed. In the zchus of this Mitzva Avrohom was healed, and Lot was saved. So when Avrohom gave them food when they came to visit, their continued existence was a product of Avrohom’s Chesed. In that sense, the Malachim ‘ate’ the food that Avrohom served.”
Why Wasn’t Lot Worried About Dirty Feet? When the Malachim came to Avrohom, he asked them to clean their feet since he suspected they may have bowed down to the dust of their feet. Rashi says that Lot was not concerned with Avodah Zara, so he let them eat first and then wash their feet. The Chasam Sofer says that we need not accuse Lot of being lax on Avodah Zara. Lot had a good reason not to suspect that this was Avoda Zara. Everybody who ate at Avrohom’s house was taught that there is a Hashem who they need to
thank for the food. Since the Malachim came from Avrohom’s house, Lot knew that the dirt was just plain dirt and not
something more devious.

Created By Rov Avrohom Sherman

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