Parshat Vayera – November 7, 2020 – 20 Cheshvan 5781

Parshat Vayera

  • Stone Chumash, p. 78 (147 psukim)
  • Haftorah:  II Kings Ch. 4, Stone Chumash p. 1134,  “Ve’Isha Achat”

Important Shabbat Times

  • Candle lighting:       4:45pm
  • Sunrise:                    6:32:33am
  • Latest Shma AM:    9:09am
  • Latest Shacharis:    10:02am
  • Earliest Mincha:     12:13pm
  • Havdalah:                 5:42pm
  • Zoom Community Havdalah: 6pm

Thoughts on the Parsha

Avraham is recuperating from his recent surgery and is visited by three angels. In spite of his pain, he tends to the angels’ needs. He is then informed by them that in one year’s time, he and Sarah will become parents. Sarah laughs from incredulity. G-D assures Avraham that this will come to pass.

G-d informs Avraham that he intends to destroy Sodom, and her four sister cities. Avraham, the ultimate man of kindness, tries to intervene — but to no avail. The angels manage to save Lot and his family before destroying the city. Lot’s wife looks back and becomes a pillar of salt. The scandal of Lot and his daughters. Avraham moves to Gerar, near Gaza. King Avimelech abducts Sarah, and Sarah repulses his advances. Avimelech enters into a treaty with Avraham regarding well rights, and quickly violates those treaties. Eventually they enter into a peace accord at Be’er Sheva. The Parsha concludes with the story of the binding of Yitzchak.

This Week in Jewish History

  • Marcheshvan 18, 2018– Second Yahrtzeit of the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre. 11 people killed 7 injured. HY”D
  • Marcheshvan 19, 1860– Founding of Mishkanot Sha’ananim, the first new Jewish city out side of Jerusalem, by Sir Moses Montifiore
  • Marcheshvan 20, 1944– Execution of Channa Senesz by the Nazis in Budapest
  • Marcheshvan 21, 1952– Death of Chaim Weizman, first President of Israel
  • Marcheshvan 23, 1746– Expulsion of the Jews from Vienna and Budapest by Queen Maria Theresa of Austria-Hungary
  • Marcheshvan 24, 1934- Defeat of German troops at El Alamein, effectively saving the “Yishuv” of Israel from the holocaust.
  • Marcheshvan 26, 1478- The Inquisition begins in Spain. Not disbanded until 1834.

Mitzvah of the Week: Mitzvah # 338

It is a negative commandment not to insult or injure your neighbor with words. The Talmud in Baba Metziah 58b explains: If your friend is a baal-tshuva (repentant) you must not tell him “Remember your old ways!” (Yesterday, you ate non-kosher and violated the Sabbath, and today you are ‘holier than thou,’ etc.) Similarly, if one meets buyers of wheat, don’t tell them that they may find a seller “over there,” while you know well that that person has nothing to sell (causing the buyers to go on a “wild goose chase”). Neither should you ask a shopkeeper how much he wants for a particular item, if in reality you have no interest in buying it. Finally one must not needlessly hurt someone’s feelings. To do so would be in violation of this law. It is especially important not to embarrass someone, as it states: He who embarrasses a neighbor is considered as if he committed murder, and he forfeits his share in the world to come. This mitzvah applies at all times, at all places, and includes men, women, and even children.