Parshas Vayeira

Genesis 18:1 - 22:24
A Visit By G-d ©

By Dr. Akiva Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. James Belk , may he rest in peace.

Many years ago, after returning to Hashem, I became ill several hours before Shabbos began. I was unemployed, without insurance in a lonely {cold} basement apartment. It was a very difficult time. Nineteen years of a non Jewish, tumultuous marriage had just crashed. The pieces were still scattered everywhere. My sons were with their mother. The family business was failing. Tax foreclosure was looming. My former spouse (who was the the company's previous bookkeeper) refused to release the business records, even after court order, so I could not properly defend myself. My parents and two brothers disowned me. The story gets worse... my former spouse gave away my best friend - Chase, my dog. He was a registered Weimaraner who was wonderful. Actually it gets even worse, but...

It was at this time that I picked up the phone and called a dear friend of many years who lived a short block away, Danny Kravitz, Treasurer of JewishPath. He jumped in his car, raced to King Soopers, purchased medicine, then raced to my apartment. He got home with several minutes to spare. In addition he made sure I had hot chicken soup, challah and other Shabbos essentials. Only G-d knew how Danny accomplished so much in such a short time...Later he checked back on me to make sure everything was fine. It is good to have such wonderful friends. Thank G-d!

Actually, this is where our story for Parshas Vayeira begins. With so many things seemingly going wrong and then to be sick on top of it, I was expecting something special from Hashem. Remember, "it is Hashem Who helps to support the fallen ones."

That evening I experienced the type of dream that one wants to continue. I was lost and alone on a very dark night. In the far distance a twinkle of light sparkled. After hours of walking towards this light it grew brighter and brighter. It was a beacon light for lost souls, like me... The light was very powerful! It shone in all directions constantly. I wondered while walking towards the light, what is a beacon light doing in the middle of nowhere?...

Eventually I reached a location not too distant from where the light was shining. It was the tent of Avraham Aveinu just after his bris mila. Hashem's presence was very powerful! It was the beacon of Avraham's tent reaching out into the night. There were no walls to Avraham's tent. Only a cover and corners. In the center of the tent was a prepared table with challah and wine where Hashem's presence emanated from. Avraham restlessly paced back and forth looking off into the night for lost souls... for visitors... for anyone...

This is when my dream ended.

As a result each year when we study parshas Vayeira, I fondly return to that night and anytime I'm sick the question arises in my mind, 'Will Hashem visit me?'

There are many themes that we could discuss in this parsha, but the most important is how Hashem supports the fallen, the downcast and the sick. My friend, from the depths of your failure, and from the canyons of your discouragement and from the unknown levels of your pain, look for the small sparkle of light in the great distance of the pitch black night. Then reach out towards it.

That light is the Torah illuminating the Jewish people who are filled with Torah and mitzvahs...

G-d willing, we will be discussing, Who visited Avraham? It will be listed in the Parsha section under Vayeira. It will be a discussion on what Christians / Messianics term "Christophanies" in the Tenach {what they term the "Old Testament"}. If time permits, we will also discuss the sacrifice of an only son.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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