Torah: Vayera: (Genesis 18:1-22:24) Haftarah: (II Kings 4:1-37)
Ellen Nathan and I met with the Washington Commissioners and the Washington County’s Chief and Deputy Chief of Washington Police Force yesterday afternoon on the high Anti-Semitic hateful rhetoric and rallies. They would like our Jewish community to know that they have our love and support. The FBI are also concerned for our safety and they have given us their support and training sessions.
If anyone experiences, hears or sees anything related to Anti-Semitism, you should notify the police immediately. As most of you know, our Beit Chaverim Board is consistently in touch with Law Enforcement to keep us safe. We have hired security individuals from the police when we worship either at the education building, at Brio, and at all Jewish events in the community (Stand for Israel and Hanukkah Menorah Lighting). The Jewish people should continue to live their lives. While Israel is at war with Hamas and Hezbollah, we must stay strong together and continue to support Israel and each other. If you need to speak with, please do so at 435-256-6280 (not on Shabbat).
The Torah portion summary:
Abraham greets three visiting strangers and shows them hospitality. Abraham intercedes for the city of Sodom, but is unsuccessful. Lot escapes destruction, but his wife turns into a pillar of salt. There was an alliance between Abraham and Avimelech. Isaac is born to Abraham and Sarah. Sarah asks Abraham to send Ishmael away, due to his bad behavior and influence on Isaac. Abraham is tested by G-d, asked to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac.
G-d tests people. The Torah does not state exactly why G-d is testing Abraham. Is it to test Abraham’s unquestioning obedience to the divine will, his faithfulness rather than his faith? Perhaps the test is both for faith and faithfulness, which together represent the quality of Emunah/ faith, which is a complete trust and obedience.
Maimonides writes that G-d tested Abraham precisely because He knew that he would pass the test. Abraham’s faith would therefore become a beacon to all nations.
Even today and even yesterday people always inform us that “We Are the Chosen People.” Jews have the Torah that G-d gave all of us as a moral and ethical guideline. Our people even in the darkest of times strive to adhere to the Commandments. Even in war the Jewish people warn our enemies to relocate their women, children and elderly to a safe area.
In dark times our enemies tend to forget that the Jewish people may be diverse in their ways of practicing their faith. This may tend to appear that we are fighting each other, however it is the opposite. Jews have the freedom to choose their own paths. However, if one Jewish person is killed, all Jews mourn. In ancient times the 12 tribes lived separately, however if one was attacked…ALL TRIBES FOUGHT TOGETHER!
Our people have an unique ability to adapt and survive all challenges to our very existence for over three millennia!
Today, we pray together with extra prayers for Israel and her people. Today, we support Israel by donations. Today, we write and speak out against Anti-Semitism everywhere. As Jews we REMEMBER THE HOLOCAUST! NEVER BE SILENT, AND NEVER FORGET!
Shabbat Shalom V’ AM YSRAEL CHAI,
Please continue to light one extra candle for our brethren in Israel.
Please continue to enjoy your daily activities.
Please continue to laugh and all this brings more LIGHT to end the Darkness!
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder