Rachael’s Thoughts on Parshat Vayera
This week’s parshah, Vayera, contains powerful concepts, not just for the ancient world but for our modern one. We hear of strangers visiting Abraham and Sarah, and we suspect they’re angels. Today, we often encounter people and are left with the impression they are more than they appear. We glimpse the infinite depth that lies within each person. Later in the parshah, Abraham argues with God about Sodom and creates a new moral dialogue. His argument sets our understanding of how righteousness must be weighed and valued more than is evil – 10 righteous people can carry a region of thousands. God agrees. We also read of a desperate moment with Lot and his daughters that begins the lineage that will give us the Messiah. We remember that sometimes the darkness of the moment can blind us to the redemption of the next moment.
Yet, with all these tremendous perspectives, we usually focus on one element of the parshah, the binding of Isaac. It is one of the most challenging and difficult texts we read, and we have yet to explain it in a way that sits comfortably in our hearts. But because it disturbs us, we focus there and don’t value the positive messages in the rest of the parshah.
Sometimes in our daily lives, we experience things the same way we read this parshah. Each day is filled with beautiful and powerful nuanced moments that positively impact how we think and feel, yet we will focus on something that disturbed us.
We protect ourselves by seeing what is negative, but we also deprive ourselves of seeing the positive growth in each day. This week’s parshah invites us to broaden our views, seek the positive moments and value the change in perspectives they bring.
I’d like to wish everyone a sweet and peaceful Shabbat –our Jewish time to regroup, rest, and reinvigorate.