Posted by: mosesfromsinai | November 2, 2009

Vayaira – Life’s Tests & Challenges

This week we read about the ultimate test (#10 in tests) that Avraham (and Yitzchak) faced, the possible sacrifice of his son, Yitzchak. (I added Yitzchak in brackets as he was around 37 years old at the time and did discover what this trip was all about. That is why it says “And the two of them (Avraham & Yitzchak) went together.” – This was on day 3 of their journey – the actual day of the sacrifice.)

While we are on day 3 it is interesting to note that according to tradition, the angels came to visit Avraham & Sarah on day 3 after the circumcision.  It was on this day that the angel announced to both Avraham & Sarah that they would give birth at this time, a year later, and his name would be Yitzchak. (In Hebrew, Yud, Tzadik, Chet & Kuf – the numerical value for Yud, the 10th letter in the Hebrew alphabet is 10; the numerical value for Tzadik is 90; the numerical value for Chet, the 8th letter in the Hebrew alphabet is 8; and the numerical value for Kuf is 100.  The Yud – 10 refers to the number of tests that Avraham faced from the Al-mighty. The  Tzadik – 90 refers to the age of Sarah when she gave birth, The Chet – 8 refers to the numbers of days that passed until Yitzchak was circumcised and the Kuf – 100 refers to the age of Avraham. Thus we see from the very first letter, Yud, in Yitzchak’s name the connection to the 10th test, his sacrifice on the Alter, which was to take place on the 3rd day of their journey to the land of Moriah – Jerusalem.)

Moses is seeing and learning all about this and perhaps he thinks that this is another reason why on the 3rd day of Creation, the Al-mighty saw (Vayar – twice) and said “It was good” – twice; referring to day 3.  Note also that in Hebrew the same letters for saw – Vayar – are used as in the title of this week’s Torah portion, Vayaira – Vav. Yud, Raish, Aleph.  It would be on this doubly good day, day #3, that the announcement of the birth of Yitzchak and the Akaidat Yitzchak, the sacrifice of Yitzchak, would take place.  Note also that the challenge is referred to the Akaidat Yitzchak, after all it was his life, Yitzchak’s, that was being sacrificed – with his full will and knowledge.

Moses is also shown the future sacrifices that individuals and the Jewish nation would make as a whole for the Al-mighty. (Again, another reason for Moses staying  ‘upstairs’  for at least the 40 days and nights). There are many tests & challenges that we all encounter during the course of our lives.  We were blessed (symbolized by day #3) with a double blessing to be able to face and meet these challenges.

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