Why Does The Creator Visit Avraham
By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk
Zerah Torah Limood
Genesis 18.1 - 33
This Zerah Torah Parshat is in the Loving Memory of Carrie bat Brachah Rivkah, may she rest in peace, may her memory be for good and may her soul be elevated in the Heavens.
Genesis 18.1 - 5
וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא וְהוּא
יֹשֵׁב פֶּתַח־הָאֹהֶל כְּחֹם הַיּוֹם:
1 And He, HaShem / The Lord [Spiritually] Appeared to him in the plains of Mamre; as he dwelt in the tent door in the heat of the day.
וַיִּשָּׂא עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה שְׁלֹשָׁה אֲנָשִׁים
נִצָּבִים עָלָיו וַיַּרְא וַיָּרָץ לִקְרָאתָם
מִפֶּתַח הָאֹהֶל וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אָרְצָה:
2 And he lifted his eyes and he looked, and behold, three [Angles who appeared as Arab] men stood above him; and he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and he bowed himself to the ground... [Mentally HaShem is Present with Avram.]
וַיֹּאמַר אֲדֹנָי אִם־נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן
בְּעֵינֶיךָ אַל־נָא תַעֲבֹר מֵעַל עַבְדֶּךָ:
3 And he [Avram] said, [to HaShem] My Master, if I find favor in your eyes, pass not away, I beseech you, from your servant. [Then Avram addresses the three Arab men.]
יֻקַּח־נָא מְעַט־מַיִם וְרַחֲצוּ רַגְלֵיכֶם
וְהִשָּׁעֲנוּ תַּחַת הָעֵץ:
4 Please take a little water and wash your feet, and rest yourselves beneath the tree;
וְאֶקְחָה פַת־לֶחֶם וְסַעֲדוּ לִבְּכֶם אַחַר
תַּעֲבֹרוּ כִּי־עַל־כֵּן עֲבַרְתֶּם עַל־עַבְדְּכֶם
וַיֹּאמְרוּ כֵּן תַּעֲשֶׂה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ:
5 And take a piece of bread, and sustain your hearts; after that pass over; for you have come to your servant. And they said, Yes! Make like that as you have said.
Why did the Creator visit Avraham? Our Sages Teach that this was the third day after His Brit Milah / his circumcision. The third day is when it is most painful.
At night fall Passover would begin. Avraham and Sarah did not celebrate Passover as his descendants would in a few hundred years. Yet they did have a form of celebration.
They removed leaven from their bread.
They removed leaven from their dwellings.
They made matzah.
How do we know this? Avraham taught me.
וַיִּפְצַר־בָּם מְאֹד וַיָּסֻרוּ אֵלָיו
וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וַיַּעַשׂ לָהֶם
מִשְׁתֶּה וּמַצּוֹת אָפָה וַיֹּאכֵלוּ:
And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in to him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread / [Passover] Matzots, and they ate.
Why did Lot do this? The local law forbid having guests. His wife and sons would not participate. He made a kosher feast with Matzah as Avraham had taught him. Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(a) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 680
We who have freedoms should enjoy them. Lot did not enjoy the freedoms we have. He risked everything he owned to celebrate Passover. He was in the gate of the city seeking guests to celebrate Passover as Avraham had taught him. Avraham was sitting with his tent flap open so he could search for guests to celebrate Passover with.
One must inquire why did Avraham have his Brit Milah three days before Passover.
And when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly...
Genesis 17. 9 -13
And God said to Abraham, You shall keep my covenant therefore, you, and your seed after you in their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your seed after you; Every male child among you shall be circumcised. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. And he who is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male child in your generations, he who is born in the house, or bought with money from any stranger, who is not of your seed. He who is born in your house, and he who is bought with your money, must be circumcised; and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant...
And God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed; and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he father, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time in the next year.
Genesis 17.22 - 27
And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all who were born in his house, and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin that very day, as God had said to him. And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the same day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money from the stranger, were circumcised with him.
Dear one, Avraham deeply desired to Obey the Commands of our Creator. He did not hesitate. He immediately got after it.
What do we do?
So, even though it was close to Passover Avraham preformed Brit Milah on all the men of his camp over the age of eight days. This is why no servants were available to get the calf and prepare it. Yishmael was the young man, i.e. the lad who prepared the calf. How do we know this? The lad of Genesis 21.12 and 17,18, 19, 20 is Yishmael. Yishmael, like his father Avraham obeyed the Commands of the Creator even when great pain was involved.
Dear ones from this lesson we can see why the Creator would come to visit a loyal, dedicated and faithful servant like Avraham.
Blessings, love and peace,
Dr. Akiva Gamliel