From The Rabbi’s STUDY… Shabbat November 6, 2020/19 Cheshvan 5781
Torah: Vayera (Genesis 18:1-22:24) Haftarah: (II Kings 4:1-37)
This Shabbat has the Torah parsha of Abraham greeting three visiting strangers and he shows them hospitality. Abraham also intercedes for the city of Sodom, but is unsuccessful. Lot, Abraham’s nephew escapes the destruction, but his wife turns into a pillar of salt. Alliance between Abraham and Avimelech. Issac is born to Abraham and Sarah. Sarah asks Abraham to send Ishmael away due to his bad behaviour and influence on Isaac. Abraham is tested by G-d, asked to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac.
I chose Justice and compassion since we just had an election. Justice is not only the ethical quality in good or human beings, but the basis for all the other qualities. The virtue of compassion also ranks very high in the scale of Jewish values. In this Torah portion Abraham challenges G-d’s justice, hoping to convince G-d not to destroy the Sodomites if enough righteous people can be found. G-d says that He will not destroy the city for the sake of ten persons. (Abraham started with 50 and agreed to ten). The number ten has become the minimum number of persons to constitute a community, and thus a minyan for purposes of worship consists of ten persons. When Moses sent 12 spies to report about the Promised Land, if they could conquer the inhabitants, only 2 felt that the Israelites could. The ten others represented the number of the community and thus the Israelites wandered for 40 years until the people with the slave mentality died.
We see from this Torah portion that we have the freedom to question what G-d does, although we will have to submit to G-d’s judgement in the end. Justice and ethical behaviour are mitzvot. However does the end justify the means?
Now we are seeing another contested election. This has happened before, if you did not know that you must be very young.(one was Gore and Bush election) Both sides will agree after all information is checked and fairness and justice is done. Please do not worry, lose sleep, or feel depressed.
Elections have a winner and a loser. Sports have a winner and loser…As long as the Buffalo Bills win, and get to play in the Super Bowl, I will be fine with that outcome!
KRISTALLNACHT November 9 &10, 1938 was the beginning of the Holocaust. The night of broken glass…Facts: 91 Jews murdered, over 1100 synagogues set ablaze and/
or destroyed,7500 Jewish businesses and homes vandalized and burned, 30,000 Jews arrested and sent to concentration camps. You may light Yahrzeit candles in memory.
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder