Thursday, November 10, 2011

Parshat Vayera: Tons to write about

. . . but not much time.

Here's a link to the basics.

Speaking of links, I've written plenty of posts about Parshat Vayera, since there's not much missing from it. :)

Quick notes:

I read somewhere that Lot's daughters must have known that they were not the only survivors because they were able to procure wine somewhere. On one hand, I think they might have carried it with them when they fled from Tz'dom/Sodom (Sodom). On the other hand, they'd been to Tzoar/Zoar, and surely must have known that there were other survivors. Methinks they were more afraid of getting stuck with their father in the mountains until he died and/or they were too old to have children.

Also, welcoming guests/travelers seems to have been of paramount importance to our ancestors.

I'm outta here--Shabbat Shalom!

Update, 9:29 PM, Sat., Nov. 12, 2011:

  • I never noticed before that HaShem never actually told Avraham/Abraham that He was planning to destroy Tz'dom and Amorah/Sodom and Gomorrah). (See B'reishit/Genesis, chapter 18, verses 16-21.)
  • I also never noticed before that Lot had four daughters, namely two unmarried ones and two married ones. Otherwise, he couldn't have (a) offered the townsmen two virgins and (b) spoken to his sons-in-law. (See chapter 19, verses 8 and 14 here.)
  • While we're on the subject of Tz'dom, I think the real sin of Tz'dom was not homosexual behavior (for which HaShem had not yet stated any prohibition), but attempted gang rape (see chapter 19, verse 5).
  • Alas, poor Yishmael/Ishmael. He turned out better than one might expect, for a kid who was tossed out of his father's house at the age of roughly 15 with nothing but a day's lunch. (See chapter 9-14.) As I said last year, "He [Avraham] shows hospitality to total strangers, yet sends his son Yishmael packing with nothing but bread and water. All HaShem said was "Sh'ma b'kolah," listen to her (Sarah's) voice. HaShem never suggested that Yishmael and his mother Hagar should be sent off into the desert with limited means of short-term survival and no means of long-term support. Judging by the text, Yishmael had to have been over 14 years old at the time of his expulsion. Avraham could have given him a parting gift of, for example, a small flock of goats. Why didn't he?"
  • So let me get this straight--HaShem orders Avraham to sacrifice Yitzchak/Isaac, but an angel tells him not to?!!! (See chapter 22, verses 1-3 and 11-12.) I'm not impressed with either HaShem's command or Avraham's willingness to go along with it. For openers, "Why on earth (or in heaven) would HaShem want to stoop to the level of a pagan god and demand child sacrifice?" For closers, as I said last year, "Why is Avraham nicer to strangers than to his own family? He argues repeatedly with G-d not to destroy S'dom and Amorah (Sodom and Gemorah), but says not a word when G-d tells him to sacrifice his son Yitzchak."


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