Drash Cards for VaYeira (5761)
• R. Kenneth Hain says that a VaYeira moment is between oppression (Shemot) and redemption (Bo) — and that most of our lives are spent in this place
• The set up for this story is first genealogy, then the plagues, which is kind of weird.
• Even weirder is that in Ch 6, v 26 we have Abraham and then Moshe mentioned but in the next verse Moshe and Abraham
• Why Abraham before Moshe? Rash says to show that they are of equal significance/
• R. Dov Soleveitchik says that this is a message about leadership because the Talmud notes that Moshe sees a strict law that is immutable but Abraham seeks peace and reconciliation. The Midrash puts it that Abraham is kindness and peace, Moshe is truth and righteousness.
• Which do we need: Truth (Moshe) or Gentleness (Abraham)?
• The answer is that we need both and that the mix varies with time. R. Soleveitchik writes “Jewish leaders must combine the characteristics of Moshe and Abraham and utilize law and love”
• R. Zelig Pliskin notes that regardless of the mixture needed at the current time, the Torah ideal is that of good leadership is to help people — to focus on serving others with patience.