Weekly Words of Torah goes PC (Parashah and Chesed) – Parashat Vayera 5780

To inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower Conservative Jewish Women
By Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, Executive Director, Women’s League For Conservative Judaism

The following are some highlights found in Parashat Vayera: While recuperating after Abraham’s circumcision, Brit Milah, in last week’s Torah Reading, three angels, disguised as people, visit Abraham and predict that Abraham and Sarah will have a son born to them in a year; Abraham begged God to save Sodoom and Gomorrah; Lot and his daughters were saved, but his wife was turned into a pillar of salt; Interaction between King Avimelech, Sarah and Abraham; The birth of Isaac; Hagar was sent away by Abraham; Hagar meets an angel; Story of Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac, called Akedat Yitzchak.

The Chesed lessons related to Parashat Vayera are the mitzvot of Hachnasat Orchim, or hospitality, and Bikkur Cholim, visiting the sick. Although, in our Torah Reading, Abraham was healing from his circumcision, he still showed hospitality and invited the three guests into his tent, and requested that Sarah make them a meal. He fed his guests, and washed their feet. We should all learn to show this same value of Chesed, by welcoming all into our communities, and greeting each person warmly, even if we, ourselves, are not feeling well. One way of welcoming in our Sisterhoods, is to never tell someone, this seat is taken; seats are always free, and we should make every effort to be hospitable. Chesed can also be shown through Bikkur Cholim, visiting the sick. This includes the caregiver, who we also need to remember. Perhaps an idea for Chesed this week, is to call someone who you know is a caregiver, and ask how that person is doing. See if they need some respite, or help with cleaning, cooking, or volunteer to run an errand. Or, perhaps, s/he wants to run an errand, and you can be in their house, spending time with the person who is healing.

Weekly Words of Torah is a brief paragraph prepared weekly by our Executive Director, Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, presented in our “This Week @ Women’s League.” WWOT will provide meaningful thoughts related to the Weekly Torah Portion, an event on the Calendar, a Prayer, or something of Jewish interest, to inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower Conservative Jewish Women. If you have any particular interest in future topics, or want to send Rabbi Wolintz-Fields an email, you can contact her at ewolintz-fields@wlcj.org. Read previous Weekly Words of Torah here, and stay up-to-date with the latest WWOT theme, Chesed, here.

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