Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 18, v. 1: "Va'yeiro eilov Hashem" - How was Avrohom capable of receiving a prophetic vision of Hashem's visitation? Prophecy does not come upon a person when he is sad. Avrohom was in considerable pain on the third day after his circumcision.

2) Ch. 18, v. 5: "Kein taa'seh kaasher dibarto" - Shouldn't the verse have said "kein Naa'seh kaasher dibarto," - We will do as you have spoken?

3) Ch. 19, v. 12: "V'chole asher l'cho bo'ir" - If the angels allowed him to rescue any items he had in the city why did they rush him (verse 15) and tell him to not save his property (Rashi on verse 17)?

4) Ch. 21, v. 17: "Baasher hu shom" - The gemara R.H. 16b says that Hashem, in judging Yishmo'eil, only took into consideration his present merits and demerits, but not future misdeeds. Why do we not apply this same rule to the "ben sorer umoreh"?

5) Ch. 22, v. 1: "V'hoElokim nisoh es Avrohom" - What were Avrohom's ten tests?



1) Simultaneously with Hashem's appearance, Avrohom was healed. (Ramban)

2) Hashem sent an angel to heal him ahead of His appearance. (Rabbeinu Zecharioh)

This seems to be contrary to Rashi on the next verse but seems to be in line with Targum Yonoson ben Uziel, who mentions that the three angels were each sent for a different assignment, and leaves out healing Avrohom.

3) This was an exception to the rule, as Hashem wanted to be "m'va'keir choleh." (Mo'ore Ho'a'feiloh)

4) Hashem's appearance was through the medium of the three angels mentioned in the following verse. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)

It seems that since they appeared like Arabs, in a human form, this is a low level prophecy, which even one who is sad is capable of receiving.

5) He might have been very uncomfortable, but nevertheless, was very happy, as he had just recently fulfilled this great mitzvoh. (Nirreh li)


1) They saw that Avrohom was weak and in pain. They said that they would agree to be his guests, but added that he should ONLY do as he has spoken, to only bring a loaf of bread, and not a big spread. (Rabbi Yaakov Neiman)

2) They did not actually eat. The word "va'yocheilu" of verse 8 is explained in the gemara B.M. 86b to mean that they appeared to be eating. So as not to lie they said, "Do as YOU said," and not "WE will do as you said." (Binyan Shlomo)


1) He delayed beyond their expectations because he spent much time attempting to convince his sons-in-law to escape. (Nirreh li)

2) They were only aware of members of his family in his home, as evidenced by their saying, "mi l'cho FOH." He also had sons-in-law who were away from his home with whom he spoke, "VA'YEITZEI Lote va'y'da'beir el chasonov." This took much longer, so they told him there was no time left, and only lives could be saved. (Nirreh li)


1) The "ben sorer umoreh" had actually begun to sin in the realm of sin that would eventually be culpable for the death penalty. (Baalei Tosfos)

2) The "ben sorer umoreh" himself would sin. It was only the descendants of Yishmoeil, and not he himself, who would bring about death by thirst. (Baalei Tosfos)

3) The "ben sorer umoreh" was a product of an undesirable, albeit permitted, union. (Rabbi Menachem Azarioh of Panu in Asoroh Maamoros)


The tests are not necessarily in chronological order, as I have mostly followed the order as they are listed in the commentaries.

1) Ovos d'Rebbi Noson 33:2 - Ur Kasdim - Lech L'cho - famine - Soroh taken to Paroh - battle with 4 kings and save Lot - bris bein habsorim - bris miloh - send away Hogor - send away Yishmoel - Akeidoh.

2) Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer 26-31 - Shortly after birth Nimrod wanted to kill him and he went into hiding for 13 years - in jail for 10 years and Ur Kasdim - L. L. - famine - Soroh to Paroh - 4 kings and Lot - bris bein habsorim - bris miloh - send away H. and Y. - Akeidoh.

3) "Krovitz" of "Imroscho tz'rufoh" by Rabbi Shimon haGodol - same as #2, but without jail for 10 years included with Ur Kasdim.

4) Piyut (poem) of Shacharis 2nd day of Rosh Hashono "Asher mi yaa'seh" attributed to Rebbi Eliezer of Kalir - Same as #2, except that the 5th test includes Soroh's being taken by Avimelech, king of Gror.

5) Rabbi Ovadioh miBartenuroh on Pirkei Ovos 5:3 - Ur Kasdim - L. L. - famine - Soroh to Paroh - Lot - bris bein habsorim - bris miloh - Soroh to Avimelech - send away H. and Y. - Akeidoh.

6) Rambam on P. O. 5:3 - L. L. - famine - Soroh to Paroh - Lot - taking Hogor as a wife - bris miloh - Soroh to Avimelech - send away Hogor - send away Yishmoel - Akeidoh.

7) Rabbeinu Yonah on P. O. 5:13 - Ur Kasdim - L. L. - famine - Soroh to Paroh - 4 kings - bris Miloh - Soroh to Avimelech - send away H. and Y. - Akeidoh - purchase burial plot for Soroh.

8) M'iri in Beis Habchiroh on P. O. 5:3 - Either Nimrod wanted to kill Avrohom shortly after birth and he hid for 13 years, or Ur Kasdim, but not both - L. L. - bris bein habsorim - famine - Soroh to Paroh - Lot - bris miloh - fearing Avimelech king of Gror, and Soroh being taken by Avimelech - send away H. and Y. - Akeidoh.

9) The M'iri brings a variation by a commentary who counts the battle with the 4 kings and Lot separately, but does not list the rest.

10)Medrash Shochar Tov on T'hilim 18, "Imras Hashem tz'rufoh" - Ur Kasdim - L. L. - Soroh to Paroh - Soroh to Avimelech - taking Hogor as a wife - send away Yishmoel - 4 kings - bris miloh - bris bein habsorim - Akeidoh.

11) Medrash Shochar Tov on T'hilim 95 - Ur Kasdim - L. L. - leaving Choron (see Tosfos, Shabbos 10b d.h. "v'shel S'dom," and Tosfos Avodoh Zoroh 9a d.h. "ugmiri") - famine -Soroh to Paroh - Soroh to Avimelech - bris miloh - bris bein habsorim - Akeidoh - send away Yishmoel.



See also Sedrah Selections, Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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