Parshat Vayera: Overcoming Challenges

November 2, 2023
BBYO Weekly Parsha


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In this Parsha, angels visit Abraham and Sarah to tell them Sarah will give birth to a child at the age of 90. A miracle was finally answered, as the two prayed for years in the hope that G-d would grant them a child.

At the beginning of the Parsha, G-d sends three angels in human disguise to test Abraham’s hospitality. Sarah and Abraham feed and take care of their guests, showing extreme care for strangers. Abraham was rewarded for his hospitality to strangers, a characteristic G-d wants all his followers to possess. The three guests tell Sarah she is destined to have a child in a year. Sarah believed there was no way for her to get pregnant at her age, so she simply laughed at her guest’s remark.

To everyone’s surprise, Sarah gave birth to her son Isaac at the age of 90. As Isaac was growing up, Ishmael, Isaac's half-brother who was the son of Abraham and Hagar, started to become a bad influence on him, and Sarah realized. She demanded for Ishmael to stop living with them. Abraham opposed sending his son away, but G-d insisted that Abraham listen to Sarah. G-d made a major statement by choosing Sarah’s side, declaring her the head of the house. G-d had tested Abraham shortly after by asking him to use Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham didn’t know what to do, but he knew he had to listen to G-d, so he went to Mount Moraya and put Isaac on the altar. Abraham felt as though he had to do this because he wanted to show his gratitude and respect to G-d. G-d had used this experience as a test for Abraham, which Abraham had passed. 

This Parsha shows us that when we are faced with challenges and tackle them head-on, we come out of the situation stronger and more knowledgeable than before. Israel has been going through a challenging time in the past few weeks, but this Parsha proves that Israel will come out stronger and better than before.

Shabbat Shalom,

Jordyn Weisleder and Yan Sher, GJHRR Northern Council Shlichim

Read commentary on this week's Parsha from BBYO teens around the world.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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