Rav Shai's "Torah on the Grow"

July 19, 2019 / 16 Tammuz 5779

Brit Milah
(Covenant of the Word)

Blazing Hospitality 
Small talk is not well represented in Torah. Words are measured, not spilled. There were no sports teams to lament or celebrate, and when weather is mentioned, it's not as a conversation starter.

In the biblical chapter immediately following Abraham's circumcision, the Torah pictures him sitting by the flap of his tent under the mid-day sun. God appears to him, but Abraham sees three men. The theology is rich. Either God is in some way embodied in those three men, or, as the Rabbis suggest, Abraham ignored God in order to tend to wayfarers.

The Rabbis heighten the drama: Abraham had just been circumcised and was in pain (connecting this chapter to the previous), the sun blazed overhead (reading the time of day as a marker for the intensity of the sun's heat), and yet Abraham scampered to and fro to provide water, food, and shelter to the wayfarers (that's just what the Torah says). The Rabbinic drama works in two directions. 1) Abraham was suffering both from circumcision and from the sweltering heat; 2) nevertheless, Abraham was willing to add to his own discomfort by being at the tent opening, scanning the horizon for travelers, because he knew that in such heat, wayfarers would be in vital need of sustenance and rest.

The Jewish values of prioritizing human needs above the divine, welcoming guests, and saving lives combine in the Rabbinic Abraham who overwhelms his guests with blazing hospitality. Abraham's compassionate nature endowed his descendants with the epithet, rahmanim bnei rahmanim, merciful ones children of merciful ones. May we merit our legacy.

Rav Shai Cherry

צניעות
Modesty

tzniUT
(Sephardic pronunciation)
or
TZNIus
(Ashkenazi/Yiddish pronunciation)

The brit milah will be featured in the Shabbat dvar Torah.

If you'd like to subscribe to Rav Shai's weekly email, Torah on the Grow, click here.

 

 

 

 The brit milah will be featured in the Shabbat dvar Torah. 


If you'd like to subscribe to Rav Shai's weekly email, Torah on the Grow, click here.
 

Rav Shai Cherry