VaYera (5764)

Drash Cards for VaYera  (5764)

by Marc Mangel

• This is an action packed parsha; today I want to concentrate on Ch 18, v 22ff — Abraham’s negotiation with God about Sodom

• The word “Ha-et” appears in Ch 18, v 23. Rash translates it as ‘even’ and Rambam as ‘wrath’ (as in  ‘your wrath’)

•The major principles of Judaism are from this section,

• First, Abraham has spoken to God three times until now (Ch 15, v 28, Ch 17, v 17) but always about personal welfare. The change in this dialogue is about the welfare of others — complete strangers.

• Second, God is the judge of all the earth (Ch 18, v25).  As we know from the mishnah on Rosh HaShana 1:2 — all the world comes before God like sheep of a flock

• Third, mercy is more important than justice — Abraham argues that it is worth saving the wicked majority for a righteous minority

• But some things are missing:  Repentance and teshuvah (Abraham is no Jonah), as is individual responsibility

• Fourth: Repentance can happen any time, as in v 26ff: “If I find [in the future]…” but not developed yet (this requires the prophets)