A collection of excerpts from Torah Club on the weekly Torah Portions, from Genesis to Deuteronomy.
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If God had said, take your son, your other son, Ishmael, whom you love, Abraham would have found the trial just as heartbreaking and difficult. The real test was not about Abraham’s affection for Isaac as much as it was a test of his faith in the promises of God. Everything Abraham believed and hoped for rested on Isaac.
A worthy husband shows his wife “honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life.” Peter urged husbands to treat their wives as peers, not subordinates, “so that your prayers will not be hindered.” The prayers of a man who does not treat his wife with respect and dignity as a fellow heir (i.e., equal partner) will not reach heaven.
Abraham believed God with such absolute faith that he did not hesitate to obey. He knew God had made promises to bless and multiply his seed through Isaac, and He knew God would keep those promises, even if He had to raise Isaac from the dead.
Abraham was one hundred years old. For all of his married life he had hoped for and prayed for the birth of a son, but Sarah, his wife, was barren. Her womb was closed. Ironically, when Abraham’s enemy Abimelech abducted Abraham’s wife Sarah, God sealed the wombs of all Abimelech’s wives. Even those women who were about to give birth found that they could not bear their children. The Talmud says, “It was stated at the academy of Rabbi Yannai that even the hens belonging to Abimelech could not lay their eggs” (b.Bava Kama 92a quoting Genesis 20:18).
Tradition says that the primary sin of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah was their inhospitable welcome of strangers. Jewish legend embellished the story with other tales of how badly the people of Sodom treated guests and strangers. The people of Sodom came to represent the opposite of hospitality. Not only were they sexually deviant, but even worse, they were inhospitable. Clement, the disciple of Peter, followed the Jewish explanation in that he also saw hospitality and inhospitality as the main issues in the Sodom and Gomorrah story:
Lot and his family lived in the wicked city of Sodom. The Apostle Peter tells us that "righteous Lot" was oppressed by the sensual conduct of the men of Sodom, and his "righteous soul" was "tormented day after day by...
The birth of Isaac can be compared to the coming of Messiah. Isaac is the promised and long-awaited son. Just as Isaac was born at the appointed time, so too Messiah will come at the time appointed by the Father. The Master told us, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority,” (Acts 1:7) and “Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:36) Nonetheless, the appointed time of Rosh HaShanah with its service of trumpet blasting is an appropriate time to celebrate the anticipated second coming of Yeshua.