Shabbat Vayera (Gen. 18:1 – 22:24)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and

It’s hard not to find a story or angle (that’s “angle”, not “angel”, although they’re in the portion this week too!) you can’t like in this part of the Torah! So much happens in each portion. Consider the plot elements for this week:

  • Abraham circumcises himself
  • Abraham and Sarah get new names
    (ok, those two things actually happened last week but it’s still too good not to mention here)
  • 3 “visitors” appear, and are shown great hospitality
  • The visitors tell the couple they will have a child, and Sarah laughs
  • The visitors move on to Sodom and Gomorrah, and are shown very little hospitality
  • Abraham haggles with God, but in the end can’t find 10 righteous people in S&G
  • Lot & company get out of town, but Lot’s wife sneaks a last peak and turns to salt
  • There is conflict around Isaac and Ishmael
  • Hagar and Ishmael are kicked out of camp, but God helps them in the wilderness
  • The binding and near-sacrifice of Isaac

It is the last item that draws me this year: the “Akedah”, when God commands Abraham to “Take your son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love” and bring him up to Mt. Moriah and sacrifice him.

SO, limited only by your creativity and the category of food which you have been assigned, please bring a food which is in some way “binding”.

Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.