Parashas Vayeira

This week’s parashah begins with the angels coming to Avraham to announce the news that he and his wife Sarah would have a son in a year’s time. The Torah relates (Bereishis 18:12-14):
And Sarah laughed to herself, saying: “After I have withered am I again becoming flushed? And my husband is old!” The Hashem said to Avraham: “Why is it that Sarah laughed, saying, ‘Shall I really bear a child, although I have become old?’ Is anything beyond Hashem? At the appointed time I shall return to you, when it is time to rejuvenate you, and Sarah shall have a son.”
The Maggid explains this passage as follows. Sarah was not, far be it, expressing lack of faith in Hashem’s power to enable her to have a son. Rather, she was expressing astonishment over the fact that, although she was soon due to have a son, she was still in an aged state. She expected to be returned gradually to a youthful state. But instead, while still in an aged state, and with her husband still in an aged state as well, she suddenly saw a menstrual flow on the day that the angels came (Bereishis Rabbah 48:14). This wondrous occurence is what made Sarah laugh.  Hashem responded by saying that there was no cause for her to laugh: unlike mortal man, who can bring only gradual relief, He can bring deliverance in an instant. And upon arrival of the appointed time for Sarah to conceive a son through Avraham, He would instantly rejuvenate them both.
The Maggid notes that Hashem often brings sudden deliverance at the last moment, when the situation seems beyond all remedy. For example, when Moshe was taken out to be executed for killing the Egyptian, and the executioner’s sword reached his neck, Hashem suddenly turned his neck into a hard pillar of ivory (Shemos Rabbah 1:31). Thus, we should never give up hope in Hashem’s saving power, even when we see our situation growing ever bleaker, with no sign of improvement, and it looks like we have approached the point of no return. Hashem’s salvation is like the blink of an eye. And so, no matter how bleak our situation looks, we should continue praying to Hashem and awaiting His salvation.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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