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This week's Torah Portion: 

04 vayera - he appeared - Genesis 18:1-22:24

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  וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו יְהוָה בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא וְהוּא יֹשֵׁב פֶּֽתַח־הָאֹהֶל כְּחֹם הַיֹּֽום

vayera eylayv adonai b'eyloney mamre v'hua yosheyv petach-ha'ohel k'khom hayom

"ADONAI appeared to Avraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day."


This week’s portion, Parashat Vayera, like so many other portions, gains its name from the opening few Hebrew words. Our portion last week left off with HaShem changing our main figure’s name from Avram (exalted father), to AvraHam (father of many nations). By adding the covenantal letter “H,” one of God’s sacred letters, he forever fixed his destiny to become the root (Romans 11:16, 18, 24) of the righteous heirs that would faithfully follow in his footsteps; heirs that obey God, and trust in him for the promise of blessing and inheritance. During this exchange, his wife Sarai also took on the covenantal letter “H,” changing her name to SaraH. She is to be remembered as the mother who laughed when God promised her a child (the name Yitz’chak comes from the root word for laughter). This laughter can be interpreted in two ways: joyous laughter at the good news, and doubtful laughter at the thought of the impossible. The Torah records that it was likely the latter. For more on this subject read last week’s parashah.
— Parashat Vayera