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I really enjoyed Shabbat last week, I hosted and had some friends over and the kidlets had some fun with their friends. Everyone enjoyed listening to the first aliyah that comes with the audio materials for Torah Club v.5 It was also shared that two of the three families that were going through the online conversion classes have decided to quit. This was huge news and of course they have their personal reasons for doing so, but I think they have come through the experience wiser, more mature and stable in their faith. We are all trying to get a little more familiar with the Siddur and how the order of service should go each week. What makes it difficult is that there is no one person to cantor so it gets a bit jumbled. Anyway onward and upward.

The standouts in the commentary for this portion were the miraculous rejuvenation of Sarah, the reasons that God chose Abraham and the merit of Abraham for Lot.

Miraculous Rejuvenation

I always found it curious why Sarah was kidnapped twice, especially when she was an older woman, Lancaster words it in such a way that I laughed, because when you think about it, it really is an absurd scene.

In Genesis 20, Abimelech, King of Gerar abducted Sarah for his harem. Why would a powerful king, with his choice of women, abduct a ninety year old semi-nomadic woman as the prize of his harem? If Sarah had the appearance of a young woman, however, the story makes sense.”

Torah Club v.5Parashat Vayera, Daniel Lancaster, First Fruits of Zion, 800.775.4807, www.ffoz.org

Lancaster ties the rejuvenation of Sarah who is compared to New Jerusalem in Paul’s writing with how we should be praying for the restoration of Zion in the coming kingdom.

I have Chosen Abraham

This section really hit me. Due to growing up in a fundamentalist light Baptist church and going to it’s school that used materials from a Fundamentalist “College” I have a lot of baggage over what to share with the kidlets. I don’t want them to be so scared of screwing up or so scared of being too happy or not thankful enough, that I have felt paralyzed in my teaching of them. Right now for school we are working our way through The Jesus Storybook Bible. It comes with Sunday school/homeschool lessons and is really a nice light overview of how Jesus was God’s plan from the beginning. We are really enjoying it. We have also gone through the Torah Club for Kids so they are getting a good foundation bit by bit. I would love to find a good resource on the rest of Bible that is not from a Fundamentalist publication house so the kidlets can learn about the rest of Israel’s history without the baggage I get to carry around. Anyway on to the commentary, again it fills a gap in my knowledge as to why God chose Abraham. I’m on my third reading cycle and this passage has never jumped out to me.

” For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him” Genesis 18:19

God knew that Abraham would be faithful to teach his family and his household the ways of God. Lancaster points out that teaching our children about Yeshua and the commands of God should be a priority. God’s promises don’t give us the freedom to neglect our duty to teach future generations. In that way we can walk out the faith of Abraham.

Merit of the Righteous

This last section I’m going to highlight will be a quick one I’m already up to six hundred and forty words. Lancaster points out how anti-missionaries claim that one person’s righteousness can’t atone for another person. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot shows us otherwise.

“Sodom and Gomorrah did not have ten righteous men among them, (to save them from destruction for their crimes) but the merit of the righteous Abraham spared Lot and his family…’God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow’ Genesis 19:29″

Torah Club v.5Parashat Vayera, Daniel Lancaster, First Fruits of Zion, 800.775.4807, www.ffoz.org.

Well there ya go, a little bit of a brain dump from me and a touch of commentary from Lancaster. Enjoy your week.