Parashat Vayeira • Genesis 18:1-22:24

From a place of great personal pain can come overwhelming care and protection of others.

This week’s Torah portion, Vayeira (Genesis 18:1 – 22:24), begins with Abraham sitting at the entrance of his tent. Commentators question why he was sitting still rather than tending to the needs of his family or his flocks and look to the previous portion for answers. Abraham, it seems, was recovering from his adult circumcision!

Despite this, he rose immediately to greet the three strangers who appeared at his tent and attended to their needs. Hospitality in a desert culture was a matter of life and death, and Abraham’s urgency might well have arisen from his first-hand knowledge of pain. May we continue to draw inspiration from our sacred texts.

Rabbi Aaron C. Meyer