וירא - "And (He) Appeared"
Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day.
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The Hebrew Word
The name of this week's Torah portion is וירא (vayera) which comes from ראה (ra'ah) which is Strong's #7200. It is a primitive root which means "to see". It is used 1308 times in 1198 verses in the Tanakh.
First use in Scripture
The first time ra'ah is used in Scripture is in Genesis 1:4.
G-d saw that the light was good; and G-d separated the light from the darkness.
Last use in Scripture
The last time ra'ah is used in Scripture is in Malachi 3:18.
So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
- Birth of Yitzchak Promised - Genesis 18:1
- The Doom of Sodom - Genesis 19:1
- Lot is Debased - Genesis 19:30
- Avraham's Treachery - Genesis 20:1
- Yitzchak is Born - Genesis 21:1
- Sarah Turns Against Hagar - Genesis 21:9
- Covenant with Avimelech - Genesis 21:22
- The Offering of Yitzchak - Genesis 22:1
Portraits of Messiah
Verse by Verse Notes
Sodom and Gomorrah
This parashah is often noted for the story of the destruction of S'dom and Amorah [Sodom and Gomorrah]. It is often taught that the sin of these cities that merited their destruction was the sexual immorality and/or homosexuality that was practiced there. While it was indeed filled with such sin, it was not for these sins that that the city was destroyed. Scripture tells us that their guilt was the sin of not helping the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:49).