Vayera by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                           בס"ד

לשכנו תדרשו

Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land

And Hashem Appeared to Him in Elonei Mamreh

Last week we discussed a process of a gradual growing of the dominance of Hebron in the Parsha beginning from the first Parsha read during the month of Heshvan, Noah, till the last Parsha of Heshvan, Chayei Sarah. In Noah, Hebron is only hinted at, since mentioned there is Avraham’s journey to his home in the Land of Israel, which will later be known to be Hebron. In Parshat Lech Lecha, Avraham actually settles in Hebron, and many of the events of this Parsha took place in Hebron. Now, in Parshat Vayera, the Parsha opens with Avraham’s prophecy in Hebron, giving Hebron a very dominant role in the Parsha. Next week, Parshat Chayei Sara, Hebron is even more prevalent, taking the central topic of the first section of the Parsha.
Last week we made a parallelism between these four stages in the dominance of Hebron in the Parsha and the four letters of the Tetragrammaton, tying between the last “heh” and the “vav” and Noah and Lech Lecha, respectively. Now, we would like to show parallelism between the first “heh,” associated by the Kabbalists to the sefira of Bina and Hebron’s place in Parshat Vayera. As we just mentioned, Vayera opens with Avraham’s prophecy in Hebron, and indeed, according to the Zohar, the sefira Bina, the first “heh” as mentioned, is associated with prophecy as it says ümbina neviim”. Just as our Sages explain that Avraham’s prophecy in Elonei Mamreh [Hebron] was due to the fact that Mamreh, Avraham’s colleague, encouraged Avraham to obey Hashem’s command to commit circumcision, so too we may also say that the holiness of the location itself of Elonei Mamreh – Hebron was a conduit to this prophecy. This may be further strengthened when we remember that the Land of Israel, in general is the Land of Prophecy, and prophets may only receive prophecy either within it or in regard to it (Sifri p. Shoftim, also explained by the Kuzari). Therefore, it is only most befitting that the first full and “proper” prophecy to our Patriarchs (the Zohar says that before this prophecy the prophecies were not revelations on the same level, for only now is the Hebrew term “He appeared” – “vayera” referring to a proper” revelation used), mentioned at the opening of this Parsha, be tied to Hebron, Beacon of our Holy Land!

Real Miracles:

When Israel declared itself an independent state on May 14, 1948; still another miracle occurred. The armies of seven Arab nations marched on the newborn State, boasting that they would “push the Jews into the sea.” Outnumbered 100 to 1, Israel not only repelled the invaders but acquired more of Palestine than was granted in the UN partition plan. Yigael Yadin, Israel’s commander of operations in that war, had a terse explanation of Israel’s victory. “It was a miracle!” A Syrian column of 200 armored vehicles— including 45 tanks—attacked Degania, the oldest kibbutz in Israel. What a psychological blow this defeat would be! Without artillery, Jewish forces were helpless to block the Syrian advance. Until then the only heavy weapons available in all Israel were four howitzers of the type used by the French army in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Two of these ancient fieldpieces were promptly dismantled and rushed to Degania. The local commander, Lieutenant Colonel Moshe Dayan, had them reassembled at the very moment the first Syrian tanks rumbled through the kibbutz perimeter, and they scored a hit on the advance tank. Had the Syrians known that these two obsolete weapons represented half the arsenal of fieldguns in all Israel, they would have pressed the attack. Instead, the armored vehicles swung around in their tracks and clattered back up the mountain road!

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