Vayera: Angel Food

Welcoming Guests

Upon God’s command, Abraham circumcises himself at age 99. While he is recovering from this procedure, God appears to him as he is sitting at the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. During this private moment alone with God, Abraham looks up and sees three figures standing near him. These “men” are actually angels, but Abraham doesn’t know this, seeing only strangers in need of hospitality. Abraham immediately runs to greet the newcomers and provide them with a lavish meal. He leaves a private meeting with the Holy One Himself to take care of people he’s never seen before! And does so while in physical pain!

The actions of our Patriarchs provide a model for our own behavior. If Abraham is willing to go to such lengths to make total strangers feel comfortable in his home, how much more welcoming should we be to people we actually know!

Image: “Abraham and the Three Angels” by Bartolome Esteban Murillo, c. 1670

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