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Parashat Vayera - 5774

My friends,

This Shabbat we read the portion of Vayera. Translation: "G-d appeared to Abraham." Abraham was introduced to us last week in the portion of Lech Lecha, when G-d commanded him to leave his home and country and head into the unknown. The first portion in the Torah is devoted to Adam, the second to Noah, the third and fourth to Abraham.

When G-d commands Abraham to leave his home with the promise that he will become a great nation, nothing is told to us by way of an introduction as to who was Abraham, what kind of a person he was, what he did to deserve G-d's calling. However, in this Parasha we find the reason. When G-d decides to share with Abraham that the angels are on their way to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, G-d says:

"Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham is to become a great and populous nation, and all the nations of the earth are to bless themselves by him? For I know that he will instruct his children and his posterity to keep the way of the L-rd doing what is just and right, in order that the L-rd may bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."

                                                                                                                                       Genesis 18, verses 17-19

This is a quality that we did not find in Adam or in Noah. They never taught their children to do what is right, what is just. As we look back to 3700 years of history, we have to admit that Abraham instilled in us the importance of teaching our children, by role modeling and teaching, the way of the L-rd.

The Talmud says, when someone does Tzedaka and is compassionate, that is a sign that he/she is a descendant of Abraham. To this day, Jewish education has been a priority in every Jewish community. We all can be proud of our Father Abraham. Let's keep his teachings relevant and alive in our own lives.

Shabbat Shalom,

Avram