Vayera – Genesis 18:1 – 22:24 – The Parashat Ha Shavua for Shabbat, Saturday, November 16, 2019

This week’s Torah portion is all about seeing. In the first verse, God “appears” (vayera) to Abraham as he is recovering from his circumcision near Mamre. In Chapter 21, verse 19, God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she sees the water well that will save them from certain death in the desert. In Chapter 22, verse 18, after the angel commands Abraham not to kill Isaac, he sees a ram caught in a thicket–the ram that is to serve as the sacrifice in Isaac’s place. And the mountain on which this drama takes place is Mt. Moriah, the mountain where God sees.

In each of these cases, after a trauma, the person’s eyes are opened to something they could not see before: God’s presence, a life saving well, a way out of the unbearable command of sacrificing a child.

Often in life we are like Abraham or Hagar. We feel trapped and can’t find a way out. In each case in this week’s parsha, God’s presence makes it possible for them to see a way out of danger. Perhaps if we open up to God’s presence, then we too can  see what is in front of us, and the path forward, out of danger, becomes clear.