Erev Shabbos Kodesh Vayera 5774 Inspiration


Themes, themes, themes! What’s a theme? A recurring pattern. So many themes in this week’s Parasha. Where does one begin? וירא, וירא, וירא, וישקף, and he saw and he gazed. How dos one see? Normally we think that one sees with ones eyes, but the Medrash tells us that after Avraham circumcised himself, he was able to see HaShem from his flesh! So there we have it. When one eliminates materialism and focuses on spirituality, then he can begin seeing. Perhaps that’s why even though Balaam was circumcised, he failed to truly see a clear picture, because he was so hedonistic. The Sodomites, however, lost their sight, because the only השקפה , gazing, mentioned in the Torah that was for the good is when people give charity, as that transforms the Attribute of Justice into the Attribute of Mercy. The Sodomites  were the antithesis of  that kind of gazing, as they barred entry to wayfarers and the poor.

 

Next theme: openings. Avraham is sitting by the opening, Lot sits at the gate of Sodom. Avraham invites guests and has a pleasant experience, whereas Lot coerces the “men” to enter his home and the result is disaster. Well, disaster for the people of Sodom who are blinded and then annihilated, whereas Lot and a few of his daughters are saved. The result? Moshiach. The practical lesson is that we all have a פתח, an opening, to repentance. The wicked, however, even while standing at the entrance to Gehinom, do not repent. The people of Sodom could have repented by being nice to Lot’s guests. However, all of them, without exception, were wicked until the end. Even Lot “opened” his mouth to convince the angels that the Sodomites weren’t really that bad. His good deed, however, with his פה, 85, resulted in בועז, 85 marrying his descendant, Rus (Baal HaTurim).

 

There’s more to say about these subjects, and there are more themes, but if we can “see” the “opening,” we’re already moving in the right direction.

 

Have an eye-opening and uplifting Shabbos

 

Rabbi Adler

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