As we continue to learn about our forefather, Avraham, we are introduced to his selfless dedication and commitment to performing deeds of charity and kindness.
It was the third day after Avraham’s circumcision (at the height of his pain) and “Ad-noy appeared to him in the groves of Mamrei and he was sitting at the door of the tent in the heat of the day.” Rashi comments, G-d brought the sun out of its sheath (H-shem made it a searing hot day) so that he [Avraham] would not be burdened by travelers. But, when H-shem saw that Avraham was grieved that no travelers were coming, He brought the angels to him in the guise of men.
“He [Avraham] lifted his eyes and saw, and behold three men were standing near him. He saw [them]” Rashi: “He saw them remain standing in one place and understood that they did not wish to trouble him. He then quickly ran towards them”, as the verse continues “and ran from the door of the tent to greet them” An alternate explanation in Rashi of the preceding is that “when the angels saw Avraham untying and tying [his bandages] they distanced themselves from him but immediately, "He ran to greet them.”
So great was Avraham’s desire to do kindness with others that he risked his health (for it was on the third day of his circumcision when the pain is the greatest) and troubled himself to invite these three “travelers” into his home and feed them.
Rabbi Gamliel HaCohen Rabinowitz (Rappaport) teaches in his sefer “Tiv HaTorah” that we see from here that the way to achieve salvation is through a combination of prayer and the performance of charitable and kind deeds. For we saw in the previous Torah portion how Avraham prayed to H-shem to be granted a son with Sarah as the verses state: Avram said: "My Master, G-d, what will You give me since I continue to be childless, and the manager of my household is Eliezer of Damascus." And Avram said: "Behold, You have not given me children, and thus one of my household will be my heir.” Immediately thereafter the verse states, “Suddenly the word of Ad-noy came to him, saying: "That one (referring to Yishmael who was born to Hagar, the chambermaid) will not be your heir; only he that will come from within your body will be your heir." Similarly and El-him said to Avraham "[As for] Sarai your wife, do not call her by the name Sarai, for Sarah is her name. I will bless her, and I will also give you a son through her. I will bless her, and she will be [a mother] of nations, kings of peoples will descend from her." and El-him said: "Indeed, your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will name him Yitzchok. I will establish My covenant with him as an eternal covenant to his descendants after him.”
Although H-shem promised Avraham and Sarah a son they were still lacking merits to be worthy of turning the promise into a reality. H-shem therefore prepared for them a test of their sincerity and devotion by making the day searing hot to the degree that no one would venture out making impossible to perform any kindness. But when they demonstrated their burning desire to help the needy by waiting in earnest for a wayfarer to pass by, H-shem sent the angels to them in the guise of men and then Avraham and Sarah prepared a grand banquet for these nomads, they proved their worthiness and as the incident concludes, the angel/nomad said "I will return to you next year, and Sarah, your wife will have a son." and H-shem was now ready to fulfill his promise as it states further, “Is anything too far removed from Ad-noy? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time of life, and Sarah will have a son." Exactly a year from that searing hot day, Yitzchak was born.
We see that in the merit of these two things - prayer and charity, one can merit the salvation he seeks.
This is the great lesson that we can learn from this story of Avraham and Sarah, when one is in need of his prayers being answered he should commit himself to prayer and charity and his answer will not be long in coming!
You have turned to the Tehilim Hotline in your time of need. Through turning to prayer, you are fulfilling the first condition for salvation; prayer. Now it is up to you to complete the requirements that will hopefully bring you to the answer to your prayers; charity. We now turn to you to help us maintain this worthy project. We have been there for you; please be there for us.
We are in the midst of our annual “charity auction” dubbed “World of Joy”, we hope to raise much needed funds to maintain our Tehilim Hotline and our yeshiva, Yeshiva Derech Chaim.
go to http://www.joyauction.org or click here to participate. WE are offering over 140 great prizes including a Trip to Israel and a $10,000 US Savings Bond. Please do your part.