Parashat Vayiera

Heat Wave Parashat Vayiera begins by telling us that there was a heat wave on the very day that Avraham welcomed some unexpected visitors. The Midrash in Genesis Rabbah 48:8 wonders why God created such hot weather that day. The Midrash states that when Avraham was recovering from circumcising himself, God thought, “Why should Avraham be in pain while the entire world is at ease?” Therefore, God created a heat wave while Avraham was in recovery as it says, “the day grew hot.” (Genesis 18:1)

Visiting Hours 24/7 Avraham’s tent used to be a popular destination for travelers – after all, he was very hospitable! The Midrash in Genesis Rabbah 48:9 tells us that while Avraham was recovering, he wondered whether travelers would continue to visit him since he was now “different” from them by means of his circumcision. The Midrash explains that God reassured Avraham that he will not only continue to have human visitors, but that he will also encounter some VIP visitors, including God and 3 angels, as it states, “he saw three men (angels) standing near him.” (Genesis 18:3)

It’s a boy!

Parenthood: The Biblical Episode The Torah states that when Sarah heard the angel telling Avraham that she would have a son, Sarah laughed at the thought of having a baby because Avraham “was so old” (Genesis 18:12), 100-years-old to be exact. When God reported to Avraham that Sarah had laughed, God slightly changed the facts, claiming that Sarah had laughed because she thought she was too old to have a baby at 90 (Genesis 18:13)! Genesis Rabbah 48:18 asks: Why would God tell Avraham a white lie? The Midrash answers that God did this in order to preserve the peace in the marriage of Avraham and Sarah. Who knew that God was the first marriage counselor?!

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