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5 Facts About Parshat Vayeira that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Thursday December 3th, 2020

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.


וַיֵּרָ֤א אֵלָיו֙ יְהוָ֔ה בְּאֵלֹנֵ֖י מַמְרֵ֑א וְה֛וּא יֹשֵׁ֥ב פֶּֽתַח־הָאֹ֖הֶל כְּחֹ֥ם הַיּֽוֹם׃18:1

The LORD appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre; he was sitting at the entrance of the tent as the day grew hot.

1. What time did God appear to Avraham?

  • God appeared to Avraham at about 10AM.[1]


יֻקַּֽח־נָ֣א מְעַט־מַ֔יִם וְרַחֲצ֖וּ רַגְלֵיכֶ֑ם וְהִֽשָּׁעֲנ֖וּ תַּ֥חַת הָעֵֽץ׃18:4

Let a little water be brought; bathe your feet and recline under the tree.

2. What special properties did Avraham’s tree have?

  • The branches of the tree would provide shade to anyone who believed in God, and would withdraw and bend upwards if the person was an idolater. So too, there was a spring whose waters would gush forth for those who believed in God, while idolaters would be forced to fetch water on their own.[2]


וַיִּקַּ֨ח חֶמְאָ֜ה וְחָלָ֗ב וּבֶן־הַבָּקָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֔ה וַיִּתֵּ֖ן לִפְנֵיהֶ֑ם וְהֽוּא־עֹמֵ֧ד עֲלֵיהֶ֛ם תַּ֥חַת הָעֵ֖ץ וַיֹּאכֵֽלוּ׃18:8

He took curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared and set these before them; and he waited on them under the tree as they ate.

  • 3. Why didn’t Avraham use the dough that Sarah prepared?
  • When Sarah started kneading the dough, she suddenly began to menstruate despite her old age, rendering the dough impure. Therefore, Avraham didn’t end up serving it.[3]
  • 4. What special animal did Avraham serve his guests?
  • Avraham created an animal through the secrets of the “Sefer Hayetzira”so that he would have fresh meat to serve his guests.[4] Some say that he served them the meat of a real animal but that the animal was actually a fetus (ben pakua), on which there is no restriction on mixing milk and meat.[5]


וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוָ֔ה זַעֲקַ֛ת סְדֹ֥ם וַעֲמֹרָ֖ה כִּי־רָ֑בָּה וְחַ֨טָּאתָ֔ם כִּ֥י כָבְדָ֖ה מְאֹֽד׃18:20

Then the LORD said, “The outrage of Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave!

  • 5. What happened to Lot’s third daughter?
  • Lot had a daughter named Pletith who once took pity on a pauper who was passing through the city. She was caught extending hospitality and was burned alive for her “crime”. Some say, that they covered her with honey and put her on an anthill to be eaten alive. Others say that she was left on a rooftop to be devoured by bees and wasps.[6]

[1] Rabenu Bachya

[2] Zohar on Vayeira 102

[3] Baba Metzia 87a

[4] Chessed LeAvraham Mayin 5 Nahar 51

[5] Pardas Yosef

[6] Sanhedrin 109b, Sefer Hayashar, Yad Yosef, Zohar

Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box Account

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