Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 15 November 2003 / 20 Heshvan 5764

Parshat Vayera

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  1. Why did G-d appear to Avraham after the brit mila?
  2. Why was Avraham sitting at the entrance to his tent?
  3. What were the missions of the three angels?
  4. Why did Avraham enjoin the guests to wash the dust off their feet?
  5. Why did Avraham ask specifically Yishmael, and not someone else, to prepare food for the guests?
  6. Why did the angels ask Avraham where Sarah was?
  7. When G-d related Sarahs thoughts to Avraham, He did not relate them precisely. Why?
  8. What "cry" from Sodom came before G-d?
  9. How many angels went to Sodom?
  10. Why was Lot sitting at the gate of Sodom?
  11. Lot served the angels matza. Why?
  12. Why did Lot delay when he left Sodom?
  13. Why were Lot and his family not permitted to look back at Sodom?
  14. Lots wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. Why was she punished in this particular way?
  15. In what merit did G-d save Lot?
  16. Why did Avraham relocate after the destruction of Sodom?
  17. Why did Avimelech give gifts to Avraham?
  18. Why was Avraham told to listen to Sarah?
  19. Why did G-d listen to the prayer of Yishmael and not to that of Hagar?
  20. Who accompanied Avraham and Yitzchak to the akeidah (binding)?


All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated.

  1. 18:1 - Avraham was sick, so G-d came to "visit" him.
  2. 18:1 - He was looking for guests.
  3. 18:2 - To announce Yitzchak's birth, to heal Avraham and to destroy Sodom.
  4. 18:4 - He thought they were among those who worship the dust, and he didnt want any object of idolatry in his home.
  5. 18:7 - To train him in the performance of mitzvot.
  6. 18:9 - To call attention to Sarahs modesty, so as to endear her to her husband.
  7. 18:13 - For the sake of peace.
  8. 18:21 - The cry of a girl who was executed for giving food to the poor.
  9. 19:1 - Two; one to destroy the city and one to save Lot.
  10. 19:1 - He was a judge.
  11. 19:3 - It was Passover.
  12. 19:16 - He wanted to save his property.
  13. 19:17 - As they, too, deserved to be punished, it wasnt fitting for them to witness the destruction of Sodom.
  14. 19:26 - She was stingy, not wanting to give the guests salt.
  15. 19:29 - Lot had protected Avraham by concealing from the Egyptians the fact that Sarah was his wife.
  16. 20:1 - Because travel in the region ceased and Avraham could no longer find guests.
  17. 20:14 - So that Avraham would pray for him.
  18. 21:12 - Because she was greater in prophecy.
  19. 21:17 - Because the prayer of a sick person is more readily accepted than the prayer of others on his behalf.
  20. 22:3 - Yishmael and Eliezer.

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