Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

Vayeira (And He Appeared)
(Sefer Bereishit) Genesis 18:1-22:24


18:1- “And YHVH appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the tent door in the heat of the day;
2- And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
10- And He said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and behold, Sarah thy
wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind Him.
13- And YHVH said unto Avraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I truly bear a child, and I am old?
14- Is any thing too hard for YHVH? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time
of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
17- And YHVH said, Shall I hide from Avraham that thing which I do;
20- And YHVH said, The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and because their sin is very grievous;
22- And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom: and Avraham stood yet before YHVH.
26- And YHVH said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous men within the city, I will spare the whole place
for their sakes.
32- And he said, please be not angry Adonai, and I will speak yet but this once: What if ten shall be
found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.
19:1- And the two angels came to Sodom at evening; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing
them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
21:1- And YHVH visited Sarah as He had said, and YHVH did unto Sarah as He had spoken.
2- And Sarah conceived, and bore to Avraham a son in his old age, at the appointed time of which
Elohim had spoken to him.
22:1- And it came to pass after these things, that Elohim tested Avraham, and said unto him, Avraham:
and he said, Behold, here I am.
2- And He said, Take now thy son, thine only son Yitzchak whom you love, and get thee to the land of
Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
11- And the angel of YHVH called to him from heaven and said, Avraham Avraham: and he said, Here am I.
12- And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that
thou fear Elohim, seeing thou has not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me.
14- And Avraham called the name of that place YHVH-Yireh: as it is said to this day, In the mountain of
YHVH it shall be seen.
15- And the angel of YHVH called unto Avraham out of heaven the second time,
16- And said, By Myself have I sworn, says YHVH, for because thou has done this thing, and has not
withheld thy son, thine only son:
17- That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens,
and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18- And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou has obeyed My voice.”


“And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I YHVH will make myself known
unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.”
(Numbers 12:6)


“For the eyes of YHVH run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the
behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…”
(2 Chronicles 16:9)


“When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases: but the righteous shall see their fall.”
(Proverbs 29:16)


“What then shall I do when Elohim rises up? and when he visits, what shall I answer him?”)
(Job 31:14)


“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and Adonai, whom ye seek,
shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant…he shall come, says YHVH of
hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears…” (Malachi 3:1-2)
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help. My help comes from YHVH,
which made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:1-2)


Vayeira Summary:
1. The Visitation of the Eternal, a Mystery to Behold:

As the Book of Bereishit progresses, one thing is obvious; this is lofty narration, one esoteric event succeeded by the next. Beyond the record of Creation, the genealogies of nine hundred year-old men, and the great flood, this week’s reading invites us to attempt to comprehend a most mystifying moment, the visitation of HaShem with mortal man. Although the text is not replete with information about the Divine encounter, there should be no doubt that both Avraham and Sarah met up with Elohim. Unlike the burning bush with Moshe, or the Shechinah in the midst of the camp of Yisrael, Hashem appears to have assumed a human-like persona, relating in conversation to the husband and wife as they each heard one another, responded, and were even questioned about the subsequent laughter. One thing is indisputable, Vayeira YHVH means “And HaShem Appeared.” May we with open hearts perceive this phenomenon.


2. The Anticipated Appearance of Adonai:

Unlike the nations whose drama unravels without clarity, grasping for suggestions as to what the future will hold for mankind, those that have accepted HaShem, the Elohim of Yisrael do not wander in blindness. In parasha Vayeira, a stark contrast is seen between righteous Avraham and the wicked men of Sodom. The difference is most evident surrounding the nature of the Divine appearance. With this visitation of HaShem near Mamre, the three heavenly guests bring with them some good news and some bad. Both pieces of information relate to the near future, and both of them are plainly spoken to the seer of Elohim. For those in covenant, this should be commonplace; Amos 3:7 declares the ways of Hashem:
“Surely Adonai YHVH will do nothing, but He reveals His secret unto His servants the prophets.”
That such an event did occur, should not take the people of Elohim ‘off guard.’ Throughout Yisrael’s history, the visitation of the Eternal upon His faithful ones was a consistent practice.
The Torah relates this pattern in the lives of Yitzchak, Yaakov, and Moshe as well. The heavenly
rendezvous with Yitzchak is no laughing matter, as Genesis 26:24 declares:
“And YHVH appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the Elohim of Avraham thy father: fear
not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Avraham's sake.
Likewise, is it to be believed that Yaakov was blessed in same fashion, as it is written in Genesis 35:7:
“And he built there an altar, and called the place El Bet El: because there Elohim appeared unto
him, when he fled from the face of his brother.”
Then in Exodus 3:16, the testimony and directive to Moshe confirms Hashem’s visit with man, saying:
“Go, and gather the elders of Yisrael together, and say unto them, YHVH Elohim of your fathers,
the Elohim of Avraham, of Yitzchak, and of Yaakov, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited
you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.”
Of such necessity is this Holy intervention esteemed; Job 10:12 expresses its reviving power, namely:
“Thou has granted me life and favor, and Thy visitation has preserved my spirit.”
Rather than possess a deviant faith, which deems the notion of an interactive Creator as archaic, relegated exclusively to the days of old, we are implored to return to the legitimate faith of our Fathers. Although, we may face both derision from society as well as being berated by so-called experts in religious philosophy, we should stop at nothing less than awaiting HaShem’s blessed appearance.
“Look unto Avraham your father, and unto Sarah that bore you: for I called him alone, and
blessed him, and increased him. (Isaiah 51:2)
 

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