Vayera

One of the most startling parshiot is Vayera. Hashem Himself comes down from heaven in order to visit a human being. Not just a ben adam, a human being, but the ben adam who picks up where others left off. His name is Avraham. The twenty generations of Gentiles before him failed in putting themselves under the authority of Hashem, except for unique people like Abel and Noach. It is Hashem Himself.

His name is in the text – read Beresheet 18 verse 1 – and I write it respectfully without any vowels I would not even know or want to pronounce: YHVH. It is Hashem who visits Avraham after he circumcised himself and his household. As we know (17:11) circumcision is the sign of the covenant between the Lord and those males who are circumcised. The women belonging the group of circumcised males are part of the same covenant but did not receive the commandment to be circumcised.

Hashem announces a miracle to Avraham: Avraham’s wife will become pregnant, like what happened with the future wife of a certain Joseph who got pregnant of Yeshua, another special ben adam, even before she got married. In both case it was the Spirit of Hashem who caused human life to grow in the mothers to be. In fact nothing special for G-d’s Spirit to do this, but for us on earth it never was and never is a common thing. The miracles Elisha performed as described in the Haftorah portion of Vayeira are also under the authority of the Spirit of Hashem.

It is this human manifestation of Hashem who judges Sodom and Gomorrah and who exercises execution by causing sulfur and fire to rain “from Hashem out of heaven”. In Judaism we do not believe in two G-ds, or in two persons of the godhead, or spooky descriptions like that. G-d is One. And He judges the area of S’dom and Amorah by manifesting Himself on earth as the agent of this judgment, while conducting the whole process from heaven. The later manifestation of Hashem as Yeshua works the same way. No trinity, no three persons, but one G-d who is able to work from heaven and on earth.

These manifestations are put under the G-d made laws of nature and so Hashem who visits Avraham is able to enjoy a meal and needs the authority of Hashem in heaven in order to execute the punishment toward Sodom and Gomorrah. Likewise the miracles are under G-d’s laws of nature, so the son of Avraham is a real ben adam, son of man. And so is Yeshua (read John 3:13), born miraculously from the Spirit of Hashem. And all this shows G-d as almighty.

He orchestrates His plan of salvation, first for the world in general and later for Israel and our soul mates from the Gentiles. Hashem as judge, Hashem doing Bikur Cholim, visiting the sick and weak like Avraham after circumcision at his age. Hashem as the one who sacrificed Himself – read e.g. Zechariah 12:10 and Isaiah 53:1 through 10 – in His Yeshua manifestation as ben adam. And the same Hashem in heaven, Creator and Bridegroom of His people.

Shabbat shalom,
Lion S. Erwteman, Rosh Kehilla of Beth Yeshua
Amsterdam, Holland