Shabbat Parashat Vayera Generosity and Hospitality

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us for Friday night services this evening as we continue our celebration of Leila Coltrain’s bat mitzvah! Yesterday, we heard and saw Leila have an aliyah to the Torah, read from the Torah, and chant Haftarah as part of our Thursday Morning minyan. It was a wonderful celebration of Jewish life and living.

This evening Leila and her family will be on Zoom with Leila leading parts of the Friday night service as well. Mazal Tov to Leila and to her entire family.

This week’s Torah portion, Vayera, and Haftarah (2 Kings 4:1-37) remind us of the centrality of the concept of generosity and of hospitality.

In the Torah portion we read about Abraham and Sarah who welcomed travelers into their home, into their tent, and generously made them feel safe and welcome.

In the Haftarah, we read of the Shunamit woman who furnished a special guest room for the prophet Elisha so that when he traveled through her area, he had a safe and a comfortable place in which he could stay.

These Biblical stories remind us that generosity and hospitality are more than mere concepts. These stories remind us that generosity and hospitality translate into core Jewish values for all times.

While we may adapt these concepts to our particular circumstances, we learn that translating our core Jewish values into real life actions is the way we demonstrate to ourselves, to God, and to others, that we take the Torah to heart.

May we find ways to express our generosity and our hospitality even in these COVID times, and may we be blessed to watch the unfolding of greater blessing in our world as a result of our actions.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror