Parsha Vayeira continues the story of Abraham’s journeys and trials. It’s also the story of Abraham, the good Scout!
The parsha starts with Abraham recovering from having circumcised himself. Very Brave, and quite a feat of First Aid.
God knows how much Abraham loves to take care of strangers, and has sent three malachim (heavenly beings, usually translated as “angels”) to visit Abraham. Abraham rushes to make the strangers comfortable, and have a good meal prepared for them. Quite Courteous. The malachim announce the happy news that Sarah and Abraham will have a child.
The malachim tell Abraham that God is going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because the people there are all wicked, except Abraham’s nephew, Lot, who will be saved. Abraham asks God if the cities will be destroyed even if 50 righteous people are found there. God responds that the cities will be saved for the 50. Abraham then asks if the cities can be saved for the sake of fewer and fewer righteous people, until he gets to 10. God agrees that even for just 10, the cities can be saved. Again, Abraham is Brave in addressing this issue with God, and also Kind in thinking of the welfare of others.
Unfortunately, when two of the malachim go to Sodom, they find that the only righteous man is Lot. The malachim urge Lot and his family to leave the city before it is destroyed. As Lot and his family rush away, his wife disobeys the instructions of the malachim not to look back, and she turns into a pillar of salt. She should have been more Obedient.
Abraham moves his household to the kingdom of the Philistines. Once again, fearing the locals will harm him because some powerful man will want to marry the beautiful Sarah, Abraham asks her to say she is his sister. The king, Avimelech, takes Sarah to his household, but God appears to him in a dream and reveals she is Abraham’s sister. Avimelech is angry with Abraham but sends Sarah back to him with gifts for both Sarah and Abraham. To help keep Sarah safe, God placed a plague on Avimelech and his household. Abraham prays for them, and they are cured. Abraham was thus Friendly and Reverent by praying to God for the benefit of other people.
Avimelech and Abraham then enter into a peace agreement. Here Abraham was Helpful and being a Good Citizen by making peace with someone who had harmed him. Avimelech knew that Abraham was Trustworthy.
Sarah gives birth to Isaac and Abraham could not be more Cheerful! When Isaac is a grown man, God commands Abraham to take his beloved son as an offering at Mount Moriah (which becomes the site of the Temple in Jerusalem). Abraham, who is heartbroken by this instruction, is nevertheless Loyal and Obedient to God. Before Abraham harms Isaac, God sends a malach to stop him, because Abraham has proven his Reverence. Abraham finds a ram caught in a nearby thicket, and so completes the offering using the ram.
Like all Scouts, Abraham was a traveler and outdoorsman. Hopefully we will not face the same difficult trials Abraham overcame, but our adventures may help us become better Scouts – like Abraham.