To internalize the message
ציור: יואל וקסברגר, מלכות וקסברגר

I always thought that Avraham Avinu interrupts his conversation with G-d, even to the point of ignoring Him, for the sake of inviting passersby into his tent as guests. This week’s Torah portion begins with the story of how Avraham is sitting at the entrance to his tent on a hot day, a few days after his brit, when G-d comes to visit the sick. But exactly at that moment, three strangers walk by his tent. Avraham interrupts his conversation in order to offer food and drink to the strangers. When it comes to welcoming and showing hospitality to strangers, I always thought, it’s appropriate to take leave of the Divine Presence.

But our Torah commentators offer a deeper explanation: Avraham never leaves G-d; he applies what he learned from Him. In making a sick call to the recuperating Avraham, G-d begins to reveal to him His qualities, especially His kindness. This visit is a lesson that the omnipotent Master of the Universe, capable of doing anything and everything, cares about the littlest things. He worries, shows compassion, performs acts of lovingkindness. Avraham has successfully internalized this message and, therefore, when he sees people who need help, he applies the lesson he has learned without delay: he runs to perform a divinely inspired act of lovingkindness. Avraham’s act is not a separation from G-d, but rather the forging of a closer bond with Him by following in His path and emulating His qualities. This is how the Creator acts and what he expects from us as well – to drop everything, including our big things, in order to attend to the little things of others.

Tranlsation by Yehoshua Siskin

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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