Torah Tidbits

Halloween Torah   

Shabbat Parashat VaYera    

October 31, 2015 – 18 Cheshvan 5776   

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Halloween is upon us…And, in a manner reminiscent of Halloween, our Torah portion begins with three strangers coming by Abraham’s tent.  Abraham is described as sitting in the opening of his tent, looking out toward the “street.”    He seems to be watching to see who might be walking nearby.   When he sees the strangers, Abraham signals to the them that they are welcome to come over.   He invites them in, and he offers them treats!


As it turns out, these strangers are the angels who tell Abraham, in Sarah’s hearing, that Abraham and Sarah will have a son.  Both Abraham and Sarah laugh when they hear this prophesy for the first time.  And the son, as has been prophesied, is eventually born, and is named Yitzchak [Isaac], which in Hebrew means: “will laugh.”


As I read this Biblical story, I cannot help but think that the Torah is reminding us that people who may be strangers to us at first may, in fact, bring great blessing into our lives, even as did the strangers who wandered in the direction of Abraham’s tent.  And, no less importantly, Torah is reminding us that laughter is an essential part of how we may turn uncertainty and doubt into celebration of life and of faith.


May we enjoy our celebration of Shabbat and the fun of Halloween, and may all of our days be filled with good surprises, with treats, and with a healthy dose of laughter to lift our spirits and sustain our faith!


Shabbat Shalom!


Rabbi Gilah Dror