Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared
READING #6 - Genesis 21:22–34
Interesting that Abraham lived as a “foreigner” in the land of the Philistines (v.34) -- for many days. That land is actually the land that Hashem gave him and his future generations forever. But, the land had not been “claimed” yet. Abraham’s promise of the land was in “progress”. I wonder how that felt to him. The fact that he makes a covenant with Abimelech shows that he is doing things in a Godly way. And that He is taking one day at a time. I can think of times where I felt like a “foreigner” in a situation. Like I didn’t belong or was a part of the group/community. I usually hang back, assess the situation and wait for Hashem to show me what to do. It always works because I am putting Hashem in charge, instead of myself. It’s not fun to feel like an outsider, but if you wait and see what Hashem has for you -- you will become comfortable -- eventually.
The next time you are in a group or with people and you notice someone is new and looks to be uncomfortable I challenge you to help them. Go up to them, introduce yourself, ask them some questions about their lives -- do whatever you can to make them feel safe and included. If you do this for someone else, it is guaranteed that someone will do it for you, when it is your turn to be new.
Reading #6 - Genesis 21:22–34
22 At that time, Abimelech and Phicol the captain of his army spoke to Abraham, saying, “Elohim is with you in all that you do. 23 Now, therefore, swear to me here by Elohim that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son. But according to the kindness that I have done to you, you shall do to me, and to the land in which you have lived as a foreigner.”
24 Abraham said, “I will swear.” 25 Abraham complained to Abimelech because of a water well, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. 26 Abimelech said, “I don’t know who has done this thing. You didn’t tell me, and I didn’t hear of it until today.”
27 Abraham took sheep and cattle, and gave them to Abimelech. Those two made a covenant. 28 Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs, which you have set by themselves, mean?”
30 He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that it may be a witness to me, that I have dug this well.” 31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because they both swore an oath there. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Abimelech rose up with Phicol, the captain of his army, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of Hashem, the Everlasting Elohim. 34 Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines many days.