Saturday, November 4, 2023

Vayeira - Reading #7

Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared

Genesis 18:1-22:24

Haftarah: 2 Kings 4:1-37

Apostolic Scriptures: Luke 17:28-37 

SHABBAT READING #7 - Genesis 22 

My Thoughts:

Abraham gets “tested” in verse 1. This is the hugest test anyone can imagine, to sacrifice his only son. And Abraham appears to be doing exactly what Hashem is asking of him. But, I believe that while he is the process Abraham actually has great faith that Hashem will somehow pull through at the very end. That his son will not die, but that Elohim will come to the rescue. The obviously amazing thing is that Abraham has to wait until the last SECOND to see this. His knife is raised and ready to sacrifice to his son, when the angel speaks to him from heaven.

Could you wait until the last minute to see Hashem answer a prayer? How extremely difficult would that be? Do we even have a tenth of that kind of faith to pass such a “test”? Something to meditate on. 


At the last second, Hashem provided a “substitute” answer for Abraham -- a ram. It makes me think, how many times do I look for a substitute way to do what Hashem has asked? Sometimes I get a strong impression that Hashem is asking me to do something I really do not want to. So I start looking for “excuses” or substitutes to His request. Something I can do instead of what He asked me to do. I challenge you that the next time you feel Hashem is asking you to do something and you really don’t want to do it, because it will be too hard or whatever -- that you do it anyway. As you might already do, the reward is amazing! When you step out and do what seems impossible for Hashem, you will see a mighty move from Him. And it will all be worth it in the end. I promise.

Reading #7 - Genesis 22

22 After these things, Elohim tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”

He said, “Here I am.”

2 He said, “Now take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of.”

3 Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey; and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which Elohim had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place far off. 5 Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there. We will worship, and come back to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife. They both went together. 7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, “My father?”

He said, “Here I am, my son.”

He said, “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

8 Abraham said, “Elohim will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they both went together. 9 They came to the place which Elohim had told him of. Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood. 10 Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to kill his son.

11 Hashem’s angel called to him out of the sky, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

He said, “Here I am.”

12 He said, “Don’t lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear Elohim, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

13 Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 Abraham called the name of that place “Hashem Will Provide”.  As it is said to this day, “On Hashem’s mountain, it will be provided.”

15 Hashem’s angel called to Abraham a second time out of the sky, 16 and said, “‘I have sworn by myself,’ says Hashem, ‘because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 that I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your offspring greatly like the stars of the heavens, and like the sand which is on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gate of his enemies. 18 All the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring, because you have obeyed my voice.’”

19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba. Abraham lived at Beersheba.

20 After these things, Abraham was told, “Behold, Milcah, she also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.


My Thoughts:

This story in 2 Kings is amazing and beautiful. It is a story of extreme faith and miracles. Elisha in his close walk with Hashem seems to have very special prophetic and healing powers. When he meets the Shunammite woman he shows compassion and gives her a very special answer to prayer -- a son. How many times in Scripture to see a barren woman given the gift of life? Over and over.  

Could these stories be representative of people who for some reason do not have faith in Hashem, but then Hashem “births” faith into them? At different times in our lives we can lose or start to lose our faith. Our spiritual life becomes “barren”, empty and void. Then Hashem comes to us in a very special way -- sometimes through another person -- to restore or give “birth” to a new faith. I have seen it happen many times. Just like in these stories of barren women, Hashem can and will birth new faith in those who ask. It is a beautiful thing.


The Shunammite woman is probably excited beyond understanding when she is presented with a son. So when her son dies, it can only be the most devastating thing in the world. Interesting that she goes back to Elisha for help. She returns to the place of the origin of her miracle. And she asks for another miracle. Hashem obliged her request and her son is restored to life.

My challenge today is to think of the time when your prayers seem to be answered, and then seemed to be taken away. That is the time to pray and remember. Remember and give praise to Hashem for what He did and ask Him to restore the first miracle. He can do it and many times will -- if only we ask.

2 Kings 4:1-37

2 Kings 4 Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead. You know that your servant feared Hashem. Now the creditor has come to take for himself my two children to be slaves.”

2 Elisha said to her, “What should I do for you? Tell me: what do you have in the house?”

She said, “Your servant has nothing in the house, except a pot of oil.”

3 Then he said, “Go, borrow empty containers from all your neighbors. Don’t borrow just a few containers. 4 Go in and shut the door on you and on your sons, and pour oil into all those containers; and set aside those which are full.”

5 So she went from him, and shut the door on herself and on her sons. They brought the containers to her, and she poured oil. 6 When the containers were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.”

He said to her, “There isn’t another container.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

7 Then she came and told the man of Elohim. He said, “Go, sell the oil, and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

8 One day Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman; and she persuaded him to eat bread. So it was, that as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat bread. 9 She said to her husband, “See now, I perceive that this is a holy man of Elohim who passes by us continually. 10 Please let’s make a little room on the roof. Let’s set a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp stand for him there. When he comes to us, he can stay there.”

11 One day he came there, and he went to the room and lay there. 12 He said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite.” When he had called her, she stood before him. 13 He said to him, “Say now to her, ‘Behold, you have cared for us with all this care. What is to be done for you? Would you like to be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the army?’”

She answered, “I dwell among my own people.”

14 He said, “What then is to be done for her?”

Gehazi answered, “Most certainly she has no son, and her husband is old.”

15 He said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the door. 16 He said, “At this season, when the time comes around, you will embrace a son.”

She said, “No, my lord, you man of Elohim, do not lie to your servant.”

17 The woman conceived, and bore a son at that season, when the time came around, as Elisha had said to her. 18 When the child was grown, one day he went out to his father to the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!”

He said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.”

20 When he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees until noon, and then died. 21 She went up and laid him on the man of Elohim’s bed, and shut the door on him, and went out. 22 She called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the servants, and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of Elohim, and come again.”

23 He said, “Why would you want to go to him today? It is not a new moon or a Sabbath.”

She said, “It’s all right.”

24 Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward! Don’t slow down for me, unless I ask you to.”

25 So she went, and came to the man of Elohim to Mount Carmel. When the man of Elohim saw her afar off, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Behold, there is the Shunammite. 26 Please run now to meet her, and ask her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with your child?’”

She answered, “It is well.”

27 When she came to the man of Elohim to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi came near to thrust her away; but the man of Elohim said, “Leave her alone; for her soul is troubled within her; and Hashem has hidden it from me, and has not told me.”

28 Then she said, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord? Didn’t I say, ‘Do not deceive me’?”

29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand, and go your way. If you meet any man, don’t greet him; and if anyone greets you, don’t answer him again. Then lay my staff on the child’s face.”

30 The child’s mother said, “As Hashem lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.”

So he arose, and followed her.

31 Gehazi went ahead of them, and laid the staff on the child’s face; but there was no voice and no hearing. Therefore he returned to meet him, and told him, “The child has not awakened.”

32 When Elisha had come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and lying on his bed. 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door on them both, and prayed to Hashem. 34 He went up, and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, and his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. He stretched himself on him; and the child’s flesh grew warm. 35 Then he returned, and walked in the house once back and forth; and went up, and stretched himself out on him. Then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 He called Gehazi, and said, “Call this Shunammite!” So he called her.

When she had come in to him, he said, “Take up your son.”

37 Then she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground; then she picked up her son, and went out.


My Thoughts:

This is a curious prophecy. The Christian church will often use this as an example of the “rapture”. They insist that the one taken out of the bed and the one taken from the grain mill will be “raptured” to heaven. I strongly disagree. In other Scripture Yeshua says that it will be like in the days of Noah, where people were removed. They were removed because of sin. In all instances in the Bible, where there is sin, people are taken out -- expelled -- dispersed. I believe when Yeshua is speaking about people being “taken”  (at the time of His return to earth) that they are being removed because of sin. The people that remain are actually those who follow Hashem and obey Him. The way I understand it is that there is no “rapture” to heaven. The only “rapture” is the “gathering” of Hashem’s people back to Israel, where Yeshua will rule and reign from the Temple. It is prophesied over and over in Scripture of Hashem gathering His people back to Himself and to His land. Very important that we study and know this.

Love to hear your comments on this story!


Look up verses in the Tanakh (“Old Testament”) about the “gathering” of Hashem’s people back to Israel. Here is one:

For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares Hashem, and they shall catch them. And afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.”” (Jeremiah 16:15-16)

Luke 17:28-37

17:28 Likewise, even as it was in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from the sky and destroyed them all. 30 It will be the same way in the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 In that day, he who will be on the housetop and his goods in the house, let him not go down to take them away. Let him who is in the field likewise not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever seeks to save his life loses it, but whoever loses his life preserves it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two people in one bed. One will be taken and the other will be left. 35 There will be two grinding grain together. One will be taken and the other will be left.” 36

37 They, answering, asked him, “Where, L-rd?”

He said to them, “Where the body is, there the vultures will also be gathered together.”

Friday, November 3, 2023

Vayeira - Reading #6

Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared

Genesis 18:1-22:24

READING #6 - Genesis 21:22–34    

My Thoughts:

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.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Vayeira - Reading #5

Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared

Genesis 18:1-22:24

READING #5 - Genesis 21:5–21      

My Thoughts:

This story has some mystery indeed. Why would Hashem tell Abraham to listen to his wife and send Hagar away from home? And to send her out with water and bread. That sounds very unusual. But, even though we don’t understand this -- the end of the story is Hashem saves them after the water and bread has run out. He miraculously provides a well with water. They drink and they live. And Esau grows and marries. 

What do we learn from this? What appears to not make sense, we can guarantee that Hashem has a PLAN. He is faithful and true, and will bring the best out of every situation.


Have you ever been in the middle of something that looks hopeless (like running out of bread and water?) But, then suddenly Hashem does something miraculous? If that has happened I know you have given Hashem the glory and honor and thanks. If you are in the middle of a horrible situation I challenge you to try and have hope. Read this story and see how Hagar was so hopeless, but at the last minute Hashem delivered. And He delivered with a miracle. A well of water. Ask Hashem today for YOUR well of water. 

Reading #5 - Genesis 21:5–21

21:5 Abraham was one hundred years old when his son, Isaac, was born to him. 6 Sarah said, “Elohim has made me laugh. Everyone who hears will laugh with me.” 7 She said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”

8 The child grew and was weaned. Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9 Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this servant and her son! For the son of this servant will not be heir with my son, Isaac.”

11 The thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight on account of his son. 12 Elohim said to Abraham, “Don’t let it be grievous in your sight because of the boy, and because of your servant. In all that Sarah says to you, listen to her voice. For your offspring will be named through Isaac. 13 I will also make a nation of the son of the servant, because he is your child.” 14 Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a container of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder; and gave her the child, and sent her away. She departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 The water in the container was spent, and she put the child under one of the shrubs. 16 She went and sat down opposite him, a good way off, about a bow shot away. For she said, “Don’t let me see the death of the child.” She sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice, and wept. 17 Elohim heard the voice of the boy.

The angel of Elohim called to Hagar out of the sky, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. For Elohim has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Get up, lift up the boy, and hold him with your hand. For I will make him a great nation.”

19 Elohim opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, filled the container with water, and gave the boy a drink.

20 Elohim was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the wilderness, and as he grew up, he became an archer. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran. His mother got a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Vayeira - Reading #4

Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared

Genesis 18:1-22:24

READING #4 - Genesis 19:21–21:4   

My Thoughts:

I heard recently that Lot’s daughter thought the world had ended. That’s why they slept with their father thinking it was their only chance to be pregnant -- even though their act was deceiving. Both became pregnant and both gave birth to the ancestral fathers of nations that would contend with Israel. That would be the Moabites and Ammonites. Two groups of peoples that turned out to be destructive and deviated from serving the one true Elohim.

If these two daughters waited and trusted in Hashem for their future, how different the future of the world would have been. But in distrust, doubt and fear they took things into their own hands. What a lesson for all of us to learn from. Wait on Him. Trust in Him. Do not make decisions out of fear, impatience and/or doubt. The outcome is guaranteed good if you wait for Hashem. 



Are you facing an important decision in your life? Are you waiting on Hashem to show you what to do or are you taking things in your hands? I encourage you to hit the “pause” button. Don’t go forward in your own flesh. Wait for the Holy One from above to help you and show you what is the right thing to do. It will be so worth it!

Reading #4 - Genesis 19:21–21:4

19:21 He said to him, “Behold, I have granted your request concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there, for I can’t do anything until you get there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then Hashem rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah sulfur and fire from Hashem out of the sky. 25 He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 Abraham went up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before Hashem. 28 He looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and saw that the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace.

29 When Elohim destroyed the cities of the plain, Elohim remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the middle of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.

30 Lot went up out of Zoar, and lived in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to live in Zoar. He lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 The firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in to us in the way of all the earth. 32 Come, let’s make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve our father’s family line.” 33 They made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father. He didn’t know when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34 It came to pass on the next day, that the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let’s make him drink wine again tonight. You go in, and lie with him, that we may preserve our father’s family line.” 35 They made their father drink wine that night also. The younger went and lay with him. He didn’t know when she lay down, nor when she got up. 36 Thus both of Lot’s daughters were with child by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son, and named him Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son, and called his name Ben Ammi. He is the father of the children of Ammon to this day.

20 Abraham traveled from there toward the land of the South, and lived between Kadesh and Shur. He lived as a foreigner in Gerar. 2 Abraham said about Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. 3 But Elohim came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a man’s wife.”

4 Now Abimelech had not come near her. He said, “Hashem, will you kill even a righteous nation? 5 Didn’t he tell me, ‘She is my sister’? She, even she herself, said, ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this in the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands.”

6 Elohim said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also withheld you from sinning against me. Therefore I didn’t allow you to touch her. 7 Now therefore, restore the man’s wife. For he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. If you don’t restore her, know for sure that you will die, you, and all who are yours.”

8 Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ear. The men were very scared. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done!” 10 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you have done this thing?”

11 Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘Surely the fear of Elohim is not in this place. They will kill me for my wife’s sake.’ 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 When Elohim caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is your kindness which you shall show to me. Everywhere that we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

14 Abimelech took sheep and cattle, male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and restored Sarah, his wife, to him. 15 Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you. Dwell where it pleases you.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. Behold, it is for you a covering of the eyes to all that are with you. In front of all you are vindicated.”

17 Abraham prayed to Elohim. So Elohim healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants, and they bore children. 18 For Hashem had closed up tight all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

21 Hashem visited Sarah as he had said, and Hashem did to Sarah as he had spoken. 2 Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which Elohim had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 4 Abraham circumcised his son, Isaac, when he was eight days old, as Elohim had commanded him.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Vayeira - Reading #3

Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared

Genesis 18:1-22:24

READING #3 - Genesis 19:1–20       

My Thoughts:

Lot went to warn his future son-in-laws to leave Sodom, that Hashem was going to destroy the city. But Scripture says they thought Lot was “joking”. They didn’t go. The city burned and they were killed. How sad because they were told ahead of time, they just doubted him. It makes me think about people in our life that try to “warn” us of pending disasters. People that are honorable and good. But, do we heed their warnings or just jump into what could be sinking sand? I think of the times people have warned me, but out of stubbornness I did not listen. Then something bad happens and they were right. We need to learn to listen well to those around us who love and care for us -- and want us to be safe!


Think of something in your life that you are doing or have done that you know is wrong! I challenge you today to correct it. Even seek advice from someone wise that you know, share your concern and see how they instruct you in the situation. Pray and seek Hashem. Then do what they say. Whether it was something you did, or something you are contemplating -- fix it today! You will be glad and you will hopefully avert what would have been a negative outcome.

Reading #3 - Genesis 19:1–20

19 The two angels came to Sodom at evening. Lot sat in the gate of Sodom. Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them. He bowed himself with his face to the earth, 2 and he said, “See now, my lords, please come into your servant’s house, stay all night, wash your feet, and you can rise up early, and go on your way.”

They said, “No, but we will stay in the street all night.”

3 He urged them greatly, and they came in with him, and entered into his house. He made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter. 5 They called to Lot, and said to him, “Where are the men who came in to you this night? Bring them out to us, that we may have sex with them.”

6 Lot went out to them through the door, and shut the door after himself. 7 He said, “Please, my brothers, don’t act so wickedly. 8 See now, I have two virgin daughters. Please let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them what seems good to you. Only don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

9 They said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one fellow came in to live as a foreigner, and he appoints himself a judge. Now we will deal worse with you than with them!” They pressed hard on the man Lot, and came near to break the door. 10 But the men reached out their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. 11 They struck the men who were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

12 The men said to Lot, “Do you have anybody else here? Sons-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place: 13 for we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown so great before Hashem that Hashem has sent us to destroy it.”

14 Lot went out, and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters, and said, “Get up! Get out of this place, for Hashem will destroy the city!”

But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be joking. 15 When the morning came, then the angels hurried Lot, saying, “Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city.” 16 But he lingered; and the men grabbed his hand, his wife’s hand, and his two daughters’ hands, Hashem being merciful to him; and they took him out, and set him outside of the city. 17 It came to pass, when they had taken them out, that he said, “Escape for your life! Don’t look behind you, and don’t stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be consumed!”

18 Lot said to them, “Oh, not so, my lord. 19 See now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your loving kindness, which you have shown to me in saving my life. I can’t escape to the mountain, lest evil overtake me, and I die. 20 See now, this city is near to flee to, and it is a little one. Oh let me escape there (isn’t it a little one?), and my soul will live.”

Monday, October 30, 2023

Vayeira - Reading #2

Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared

Genesis 18:1-22:24

READING #2 - Genesis 18:15–33       

My Thoughts:

Abraham has an interesting conversation with Hashem. It’s almost like he doesn’t know the character of Hashem so challenges Him. Hashem has told him that the city of Sodom and its inhabitants are going to be destroyed. Abraham immediately asks that if fifty righteous were found would He spare the city? Hashem agrees. They discuss some more numbers and Hashem goes down to TEN RIGHTEOUS. In other words if ten righteous people are found, He will spare the city. The character of Hashem is exposed to Abraham in full - He is faithful, fair and full of grace. Then Abraham walks away.

Can you imagine? Our glorious Elohim agrees to spare an entire city of evil people if only ten good people are found. We find out later that ten were not found and the city is burned down. Makes me think of our world today. How many righteous can we find in our decadent, unfaithful cities? In the summer of 2020, in the United States --the people rioted. Hashem didn’t have to burn down the cities -- the people did! How ironic. Can people get so bad that they destroy themselves? Something to think about.


I challenge you today to think about your own family in comparison to this story. How many “righteous” people are in your family? How many follow Hashem? Now, look at your extended family. How many believers are there? Of course, we can never really know what a person believes, but you can look at their “fruit”. If your numbers are low, I suggest you do something about it. Pray harder for them, be kinder to them, be a stronger light for Hashem to them. Let’s start with our families and do something. Our cities are made up of families. It’s a good place to start. 

READING #2 - Genesis 18:15-33

18:15 Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh,” for she was afraid.

He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

16 The men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. Abraham went with them to see them on their way. 17 Hashem said, “Will I hide from Abraham what I do, 18 since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Hashem, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Hashem may bring on Abraham that which He has spoken of him.” 20 Hashem said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, 21 I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know.”

22 The men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before Hashem. 23 Abraham came near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 May it be far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn’t the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 Hashem said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 27 Abraham answered, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to Hashem, although I am dust and ashes. 28 What if there will lack five of the fifty righteous? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?”

He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

29 He spoke to him yet again, and said, “What if there are forty found there?”

He said, “I will not do it for the forty’s sake.”

30 He said, “Oh don’t let Hashem be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?”

He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 He said, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to Hashem. What if there are twenty found there?”

He said, “I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake.”

32 He said, “Oh don’t let Hashem be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?”

He said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.”

33 Hashem went His way as soon as He had finished communing with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Vayeira - Reading #1

Vayeira וַיֵּרָא - And He Appeared

Genesis 18:1-22:24

READING #1 - Genesis 18:1–14         

My Thoughts:

Sarah laughed at what Hashem had said about her getting pregnant. This was unbelievable to her. Her laugh was all about disbelief and doubt. Nevertheless, what Hashem said came true. As impossible as it seemed. 

Have you ever asked Hashem for the impossible? Maybe you never laughed at Hashem, but maybe you laughed at yourself for asking Him. Only to find out He answered your prayer! When that happens to me, it builds my faith to giant heights! What a faithful and wonderful Elohim we serve.


Today I challenge you to pray for the impossible prayer. Look at something in your life that only Hashem could change! Now take a moment to ask Him. Don’t laugh at the doubts you have, but look at how Hashem fulfilled Sarah’s request and BELIEVE. Do it now, do not delay.

READING #1 - Genesis 18:1–14    

18 Hashem appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that three men stood near him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth, 3 and said, “My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please don’t go away from your servant. 4 Now let a little water be fetched, wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 I will get a piece of bread so you can refresh your heart. After that you may go your way, now that you have come to your servant.”

They said, “Very well, do as you have said.”

6 Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly prepare three seahs of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.” 7 Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to dress it. 8 He took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree, and they ate.

9 They asked him, “Where is Sarah, your wife?”

He said, “There, in the tent.”

10 He said, “I will certainly return to you at about this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

13 Hashem said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Will I really bear a child when I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for Hashem? At the set time I will return to you, when the season comes around, and Sarah will have a son.”