The weekly Torah portion of Vayera (Genesis 18:1-22:24)

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Interrupting Amida for a Mitzvah

Avraham leaves Hashem to deal with guests in Vayera - because welcoming guests is greater than Kabolas Pnei HaSh'china. Does that mean we can interrupt our Shmoneh Esrei to do mitzvahs? At least to ...
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What is the interpretation of Genesis 19, 5-8?

5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” 6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, ...
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What is the connection between “שיח” as prayer and “שיח” as a bush?

פרשת וירא (כא טו): וַיִּכְלוּ הַמַּיִם מִן הַחֵמֶת וַתַּשְׁלֵךְ אֶת הַיֶּלֶד תַּחַת אַחַד הַשִּׂיחִם Genesis 21:15: And the water in the bottle was spent, and she cast the child under one of the ...
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4answers
168 views

Interpretations of the Akeidah

Our Torah class in school is studying the Akeidah. What different approaches do the meforshim take in interpreting it (e.g. Rashbam says it was a punishment, lehavdil Kierkegaard says it was about ...
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281 views

How could Avraham feed his guests milk?

According to the gemarah (Sanhedrin 21 I think) milk was considered the limb of a living being - eiver min ha'chai - until matan torah. If so, how could Avraham serve it to his guests if a ben Noach ...
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55 views

Do we learn any hilchos shechita from the Akeida?

The Binding of Isaac (Gen. 22) is a fascinating story, for a multitude of reasons. One thing that appeals to me, as a shochet (slaughterer), is that it has in it (as far as I could tell) the earliest ...
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attributes of God--Why does God have to come down to check out Sodom and Gemorrah?

I've always thought it rather curious that God came down to check out the corruption of the city: כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו, לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יְצַוֶּה אֶת-בָּנָיו וְאֶת-בֵּיתוֹ אַחֲרָיו, וְשָׁמְרוּ דֶּרֶךְ ...
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How is not asking about the welfare of a guest an indication of lack of fear of G-d? (Rashi on Br. 20:11)

Rashi on Genesis 20:11:1: רק אין יראת אלהים. אכסנאי שבא לעיר, על עסקי אכילה ושתיה שואלין אותו או על עסקי אשתו שואלין אותו אשתך היא או אחותך היא: My (loose) translation: When a a guest comes ...
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Avraham's different approaches to kidnapping

I find something very strange. Lot gets kidnapped; Avraham goes to war to get him back. Sarah his wife gets kidnapped; he does and says nothing. What is with this very strange discrepancy?
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Can you do hachnasat orchim with angels?

Is it possible to fulfill the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim with angels?
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Why the name Beer Sheva

The Posuk says: וַיִּקְרָא אֹתָהּ שִׁבְעָה עַל כֵּן שֵׁם הָעִיר בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה Translated as: And he named it Shibah; therefore, the city is named Beer sheba until this very day ...
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Questions on the Netziv's understanding of Isaac's birth

Haamek Davar to Vayera 18:12 (and, to a lesser extent, the surrounding verses) and Harchev Davar (by the same author) to Vayera 21:3 explain Sarah's laughter on learning that she and Abraham would ...
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The Names of the Rulers of Sedom

What were the names of the governors of Sedom, and what is the significance of those names?
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120 views

Lot's Daughters

Why did Lot's daughters have relations with their father?
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Why did the angels not go straight to S'dom?

It says in Bereishis 18,16 “and the men arose from there and they looked upon S’dom, and Avraham went with them to escort them”. This is followed by several posukim dealing with the dialogue between ...
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Kos Shel Bracha but no bread

The angels blesses Sarah and sends a Kos Shel Bracha (Rashi Breshit 18:9 based on Bava Metzia 87a). the question is how was there a Kos Shel Bracha if there was no bread as it says Sarah became a ...
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Why did God change His method of judgement towards people after the generation of Noach? (Rash"i on Br. 18:25)

Rashi on Genesis 18:25 (excerpt): חלילה לך יאמרו כך הוא אמנתו, שוטף הכל, צדיקים ורשעים, כך עשית לדור המבול ולדור הפלגה: My translation: People will say that this is your method (of ...
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Why “אַבְרָהָם אָבִיו” (Gen. 22:7)?

Why does Genesis 22:7 say "אַבְרָהָם אָבִיו" rather than just "אַבְרָהָם" or "אָבִיו"? It's redundant. (My kid's question.)
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Is there a detailed explanation for Bereishis 18:8? [duplicate]

וַיִּקַּח חֶמְאָה וְחָלָב וּבֶן־הַבָּקָר אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּתֵּן לִפְנֵיהֶם וְהֽוּא־עֹמֵד עֲלֵיהֶם תַּחַת הָעֵץ וַיֹּאכֵֽלוּ׃ I know the Torah was not given at this time, nor had the Sages explained ...
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“Say for/of me 'he's my brother'”

In Vayera, 20:13, Avraham says that he had told Sara "אמרי לי אחי הוא". Rashi renders this as "say about me 'he's my brother'". Haamek Davar, though, says it's "say 'he's my brother' for my benefit ...
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96 views

To what crying was Hashem responding?

In Bereishit 21, Avraham sends Hagar and Ishmael out with water. When the water is done, she sends him over to some trees and removes herself so as not to see his suffering. According to pasuk 16, she ...