GOD CAST VAYERA

It would, I recognise, take some faith to ask God to wait while we do more important things in the world, but I have the feeling it would not be unwelcome. You are commenting using your Facebook account. But to make that the goal is to miss the point. Rebecca learns in a divine revelation that her older son Esau will be subservient to her younger son Jacob. For me that means giving a lot of attention to self-nurturance — the right food, exercise, rest, meditation, play. And He Appeared Abraham is visited by three strangers who announce that he and Sarah will birth a son in their old age. What about parents of children with disabilities?

He examined every couple in every generation to determine who could best care for this soul. They left Haran and arrived in Canaan and within six verses we have another divine encounter: If we are ready with open hearts, our eyes are watching for opportunities to serve, if our humility is intact, and we have the energies and resources to express the natural flow of our generosity — then we will be given hope, and the fulfillment of our deepest desires. The ability to see God passes instead to the stranger, to Hagar. There is debate among the traditional commentators whether Abraham has one or two revelations at this point. When that radiating presence which holds the world together is obscured, everything collapses. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Eventually, our eyes will be opened to the well of living waters that is ever before us, however obscured. This memory moves us eventually to a re-integration of those two parts within us, the banisher and the banished. When we cast Hagar out into the wilderness 1her offspring becomes our enemy. Or is it a revelation in and of itself as Rashi and others thought, and in that case, just what can be learned from it?

In upcoming Torah portions, God is, as it were, just offstage.

He examined every couple in every generation to determine who could best care for this soul. If we are ready with open hearts, our eyes are watching for opportunities to serve, if our humility is intact, and we have the energies and resources to express the natural flow of our generosity — then we will be given hope, and the fulfillment of our deepest desires.

Rabbi Moshe Weinberger offers an encouraging perspective to parents who feel overwhelmed by rearing a child I paraphrase his words here.

Apparently, no other parents passed the test. They left Haran and arrived in Canaan and within six verses we have another divine encounter: I must say, I used to love the first interpretation the most: And He Appeared Abraham is visited by three strangers who announce that he and Sarah will birth a son in their old age.

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Abraham is indeed a role model for us, but maybe that should be modelling not uncritical religious faith and practise, but challenging it and inserting ourselves into the narratives. Sometimes, when God is preparing a soul to descend to live in our world, he chooses a person with a disability to be the parent. Is he speaking to the men to invite them in for a rest, a wash and a meal? We are blessed this week with a vision of God who comes to us in the form of three strangers.

As a seeker of direct connection with the Divine, my heart leaps at the idea of this amazing event and I look for that revelation in my own life. And when we, in our turn, are cast out and treated like a stranger, our challenge is remain steadfast in our search for allies, and to avoid becoming bitter. What about parents of children with disabilities? In each case the appearance of God could be understood to be just that — an appearance, or a vision, or a revelation.

I still love that interpretation of the text, but I have come to appreciate the second one more. When the stranger is banished, our opportunity for seeing God is squandered. I wonder if this instinctive act to help the travellers in the desert is the same instinct that causes him to later challenge God when the second revelation happens — the information that the whole of the city of Sdom will be destroyed, the righteous alongside the corrupt.

And I wonder what happened to that instinct after this episode. You are commenting using your Twitter account. When inhospitality and meanness rule, and the stranger is not honored, then Divine Presence is unrecognized and inaccessible. You are commenting using your WordPress. When God shares with our ancestor the imminent, terrible consequences of this hatred, we are meant to share in the wisdom, to learn from the tragedy. Abraham meets God twice by oak trees — large trees that cast shadows with canopies that play with the light coming through them.

Our attentiveness to these strangers will determine the extent of our blessing. But to make that the goal is to miss the point.

Vayera: Parenting With A Heavenly Partner | Jewish Week

And the next verse gives us even more room for ambiguity, for when Abraham speaks he says:. But early in parashat Lech Lecha God appears to Abram by some oak trees, and now here in parashat Vayera we have the same thing. There is debate among the traditional commentators whether Abraham has one or two revelations at this point. Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. You can ask a friend to bring a friend of theirs along. Rebecca learns in a divine revelation that her older son Esau will be subservient to her younger son Jacob.

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The chances of genes arranging themselves precisely to produce you were, I believe, one inWhen my wife and I became parents, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin urged us to request help fro our partner to guide our children towards independence and responsibility. Yet Abraham is also held up to us as a role model — he is the first Ivri, one who crosses boundaries; he is Avraham Avinu — our father and founder; he is the embodiment of the mitzvah of hachnasat orchimmodelling openness and welcoming hospitality to all.

It would, I recognise, take some faith to ask God to wait while we do more important things in the world, but I have the feeling it would not be unwelcome.

Parashat Vayera

The institutions may talk the talk but they walk the walk less readily. The midrash says that this new wife is Hagar, returning, the-stranger-welcomed-home. For me that means giving a lot of attention to self-nurturance — the right food, exercise, rest, meditation, good. The stranger is not always easy to serve.

Vayera: Parenting With A Heavenly Partner

The lesson comes home. Sitting at the opening of his tent in the heat of the day, Abraham is sheltering and looking outwards. The three men, hot and dusty and hungry and thirsty would have been a drain on the resources of their host, but Abraham did not hesitate to give them food and drink and comfort. Email required Address never made public. So the idea of Abraham, the patriarch and founder of monotheistic religion, asking God to please wait while he gets on with caring for travellers is an important idea to keep hold of.

Religion and ritual exist in order to keep us aware of what is important, though often they appear to exists only in order to perpetuate their own structures. For it seems to me that Abraham somehow loses his religious edge as he becomes a more patriarchal figure, and he becomes institutionally religious rather than instinctively so. The challenge is to love and take care of myself enough to be as effective an instrument I can be in serving others.

Is the introductory verse telling us that God appears to Abraham just that, a sort of headline for what is to follow, as Maimonides posited? His manners may offend you. The something more important is, of course, the hachnasat orchimthe welcoming of the stranger and carer for the traveller that Abraham is so famous for.