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Parashat Vayeira | 16\11/19
18th Cheshvan 5780
Rabbi Yosef Braha
The stories of his battlefield prowess and fearless
leadership were recounted throughout the world.
Whenever a big battle loomed, he was the one, the
indomitable general everyone knew could be trusted to
lead his troops to victory. But this battle was different.
Enemies had banded together on the border with an
unprecedented show of military might. The entire
future of the nation was in jeopardy. The Prime
Minister called his general into his inner chambers, and
in a broken, emotion filled voice begged, “Please, lead
our troops to victory. Our nation is relying on you. Let
not all your previous conquests be of no consequence
with a defeat now.”
The gemara in Sanhedrin uses this depiction to explain
the opening phrase that Hashem uses to introduce
Avraham to the command to sacrifice Yitzhak. Hashem
says to Avraham, “Kach na,” [Please! Take] Yitzhak and
offer him as a sacrifice to me. We see Hashem prefaces
this command with the word “na,” or "please." Hashem
begged Avraham to succeed in this mission. Just like
the general in the gemara's parable, Avraham needed
this success, lest all the other tests he passed “be of no
This comment of the gemara raises a difficult question.
It would seem that whether or not Avraham passed this
test he would still be remembered as one of the
greatest people in our history. Avraham had passed
each of his previous nine tests with flying colors! Had
he not succeeded in this final test why does Hashem
say the Avraham's earlier successes would "be of no
Meet the Lowell family
The Iron Dome
חשוון ה'תש"פ-פרשת וירא| י"ח מר
Rav Shimon Schwab, address this question with a
beautiful insight. Says Rav Schwab of course, even had
Avraham not passed this test, his life's work would have
remained to his credit and his greatness rewarded.
However, this final test of Avraham's had a unique
characteristic. In it, not only was Avraham's own
dedication put to the test, but part of his test was to
see if Yitzhak exhibited the same dedication as well. It
was the ultimate test. Did Avraham's passion, his love
of Hashem and his unwavering trust in God get instilled
in his son Yitzhak. Did Avraham succeed in ensuring the
spiritual continuity of Klal Yisrael or perhaps would this
great tzaddik be a one-time phenomenon, destined for
great personal reward, but in terms of the future of the
Jewish nation “of no consequence”. Hashem, therefore,
could not help but to plead with Avraham, “Na [please],
let this mission be successful. Please, don't fail me
This insight contains an important practical lesson for
each one of us. It is not enough to strive to make our
personal connection to our faith strong, but we must
also do what we can to ensure that our commitment to
Torah true values and aspirations is passed to the next
generation. If we are to succeed in this sacred mission,
it must remain in the forefront of our consciousness.
Decisions that we make need to be examined against
the backdrop of the question, “Does this advance our
ultimate goal of ensuring a solid Torah future for the
next generation?” By doing so we can pass our ultimate
test and ensure that we too live lives of true
Join our WhatsApp group for a short
insight on the Parsha and event
Scan the QR or sent e message to
When did you come to Memphis?
Only a few months ago!
Where are you from?
Complicated question! We were just in New Jersey for 13
years, but before that we both moved around a good
amount. Shana grew up in Detroit and then Silver Spring,
MD. Ari grew up in Baltimore, and we both did long stints
in Israel before moving to NJ.
How did you end up coming to Memphis?
Ari is a psychologist who specializes in PTSD. He primarily
works with veterans and military families, and was
offered a job at the Memphis VA. We came to visit, loved
the community, and decided to go for it!
Tell us about your family
Ari spent time in Yeshiva in Israel before serving in the
IDF. He worked in business for several years before going
back to school to earn his PhD in Psychology. Shana
learned in the Rova for several years, and went to Bar Ilan
for her BA, and Columbia for a MSW. She now works as a
Birth Doula, Lactation Counselor, and Childbirth Educator,
and enjoys giving occasional shiurim on the side. Gavi is
in tenth grade and twins Ilan and Nadav are in seventh.
They are all in school at MHA.
Yad Mordechai is a know Kibbutz not far from the Gaza
strip. It is known for its history, sweet honey and the
Arabs tempts to attack the Kibbutz with rockets, like we
saw this week.
The community who wanted to start the Kibbutz was
founded in the 1930s by Hashomer Hatzair. The members
where from Poland and initially organized themselves
into a kibbutz called Mitzpe Yam close to Netanya, which
was founded in 1936.
However, the 14 dunams allocated to the kibbutz were
insufficient to develop the kibbutz. As part of settlement
in the Negev, the community moved to its site near
Ashkelon in December 1943. The kibbutz was renamed in
a memorial to Mordechai Anielewicz, who was the first
commander of the Jewish Fighting Organization in the
Warsaw Ghetto uprising. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli
War, the kibbutz was attacked by Egypt in the Battle of
Among the many Holocaust memorials in Israel, the
"From Holocaust to Revival Museum" especially
commemorates Jewish resistance against the Nazis as
What are the things you and your family like doing on
your free time?
We all love books and are big readers. Shana enjoys
cooking, traveling, and crafts. She also loves anything
birth related. Ari loves board games. The boys are into
board and video games, sports, and traveling while
listening to their mom drone about history. Comics and
Harry Potter are big around here. All three boys have
their black belts in Taekwondo, and Shana is halfway
there! We all love to be in Israel and try to go as often as
What special thing have you already discovered about
the Memphis community?
People here are so laid back and welcoming. We love
that the kids can go roaming in the neighborhood with
friends, and love when people feel welcome to walk right
into our home. We have been the recipients of truly
amazing hospitality and chesed, and the Memphis
community should be very proud of how it welcomes
well as the 1948 Battle of Yad Mordechai. The statue of
Anielewicz by Nathan Rapoport clutching a grenade, next
to the water tower which was destroyed by the Egyptians
in May 1948, is a noted symbol of the kibbutz.
After 1948, Yad Mordechai expanded on the land that
was released on the 1948 war. .
Yad Mordechai is very known in Israel for the honey, Jelly
and olive oil. The kibbutz is engaged in the production
and marketing of food products by nature.
Memorial to Mordechai
Anielewicz next to the destroyed
Water tower at Yad Mordechai
Ask the Rabbi
I like learning Hebrew. I think it is important to have a
large vocabulary of words and to understand Dikduk
(grammar). Am I allowed to learn Hebrew words and
Hebrew grammar in the bathroom?
Learning Hebrew is very important, and therefore It's
definitely forbidden in the bathroom.
The Rambam says that it's a Mitzva to learn Hebrew and
compares it to other Mitzvot D'orayta like being happy
on holidays (Rambam on Pirkey Avot). Many explain that
it's part of the mitzva of learning Torah, and accordingly
prohibited in the restroom.
Even if we don't consider learning Hebrew as a Mitzva,
learning grammar is still related to Torah. Knowing
grammar comes from comparing words in Tanach, so
technically, it's hard to learn grammar without learning
Reading Hebrew, without learning grammar, is allowed.
For the Shabbat table
In this weeks Parsha Avraham is visited by 3 angels who
inform him that he will have a son- which resulted in
Sarah to begin laughing at the notion of a child at their
age. the angel then travels to Sodom which G-D had
decreed will be destroyed. upon their arrival, they are
welcomed into Lot's home. Shortly after the people of
Sodom come to Lot and demand that he turn over the
newcomers, Lot refuses, causing the people to try to
attack them. The angels cause the attackers to go blind
and warn Lot that they will destroy Sodom and that he
should leave. Sarah gives birth to a son named Yitzchak.
Afterward, Avraham is tested and Yitzchak is almost
sacrificed to G-D but at the last moment, G-d tells him
• why does G-D tell Avraham to sacrifice his son if at
the last second he is told to stop?
• What happened to Avraham right before the angels
Iron Dome (kippat barzel) is a mobile all-weather air
defense system developed in Israel. The system is
designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets
and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometers
(2.5 mi) to 70 kilometers (43 mi) away and whose
trajectory would take them to an Israeli populated area.
Iron dome doesn’t give a 100% protection from rockets
and can’t handle many rockets at a time. Still, it have
saved many lives and prevented a lot of damage. In the
attack this week, it destroyed 90% of rockets fired to civil
כל מה שמוחו של אדם יכול להגות
.ולהאמין בו הוא יכול להשיג
Whatever the mind of man can
conceive and believe, it can achieve.
This week activities:
Despite the cold, we had a warming
Challenge continuing Masechet Megilla
and a class about Avraham & Sara.
The most warming event was the
Yeshiva students praying for the safety
of the people in Israel who were
attacked this week by hundreds of
rockets. The students also showed their
love to the Israelis by sending a picture
to the Jews living close to Gaza.
You are invited to join the
A Shiur for women about
family relationships in the
Parsha – Mondays at 8:00
The Siyum Chalenge
learning Megila –
Thursdays 7:00 pm at
The Tanach group,
learning now about
Eliyahu Hanavi. Thursdays
8:00 at MHA.