Vayerah – Chamishi

Open Up Your Eyes!

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Avraham was 100 years old when Yitzchak was born. Again, Sarah laughed, this time with joy. “Who would ever have thought that Sarah would nurse a child?” she said.

When Yitzchak was three years old, Avraham threw a party to celebrate his being weaned. Sarah saw Yishmael, Avraham’s son with Hagar, scoffing. She told Avraham to expel them from the household. This displeased Avraham; even though Hagar was only a servant girl, Yishmael was still his son. Nevertheless, G-d told Avraham to do as Sarah had bade him. Avraham’s legacy would be perpetuated through Yitzchak, G-d said, but since he was Avraham’s son, Yishmael would also be built into a great nation.

Avraham got up in the morning and gave Hagar provisions for the trip. Hagar and Yishmael went on their way, but they got lost and the water ran out. Hagar left Yishmael under a tree and gave up hope. She traveled some distance away so she wouldn’t have to watch her son die.

G-d heard their tears and He sent an angel to Hagar, telling her not to worry because Yishmael was destined to father a great nation. Then Hagar’s eyes were opened and she was able to perceive a well of water, from which they drank. G-d was with Yishmael, who became an archer. They settled in the Paran desert and Hagar got Yishmael a wife from her homeland of Egypt.

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