Simcha's Torah Stories - Vayera

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Parshat Vayera


Daddy, can you tell us a story before we go to sleep? We really like your stories.

Sure, kids. Close your eyes and let yourselves drift back. Way back. Way way back.

Two men are slowly trekking through the desert.

Is that our destination off in the distance?

I hope so. I am so tired and hot.

It could be a mirage. You never know in this heat. As we get closer, we can see.

The men approach the home.

Here we are. I think this is the place we have heard about.

The men receive a warm welcome.

Come in. Come in. Please sit down and make yourselves comfortable. You must be hot and weary. Please have a cold drink.

Thank you so much. Really, you do not have to go to so much trouble.

Itís no bother at all. You can wash up when you are ready, then we will eat. I will see you in a few minutes. My servants will help you with anything that you need.

The men are lead to a place where they wash and freshen themselves up. Comfort and luxury surround them. Cold, fresh fruit is then served. The hospitality amazes them.

This is really something. These people are so kind and thoughtful. Theyíve provided us with all of the comforts of home. They also want to serve us a meal.

Thatís very nice. Letís have a small snack and then continue on our trip.

The host approaches them.

Please come to the dining room.

Really, you have been so nice. Just a small snack and we will be going.

The table is set beautifully with the finest dishes and silverware. Course after course of gourmet food is served. Servants cater to the guests.

Really, this is indescribable. I can honestly say that we have never been treated so well in our entire lives. The food, the accommodations, and the service are all fit for a king.

Gentlemen, please. It is my pleasure. Enjoy yourselves as much as you like. I only ask one thing of you.

The two guests turn toward each other, each with a concerned look on his face. They whisper to each other.

Uh oh. Now we are really in for it. I had a feeling that this would happen. Nothing is free in this world. Now we are going to have to pay a whopping sum for all of this hospitality.

They turn toward their host, expecting the worst.

Yes, what do you ask of us?

Just that you bless Almighty G-d, who cares for and provides for all of us. He is the One who has given us the means to treat you so well today.

Thatís it?

Nothing more. Let us say the blessings together.

Back at home, Daddy asks the kids . . .

Kids, do you know who this story was about?

I do. Avraham Avinu.

Thatís right Avi. Our father Abraham. He was a genius and an innovator.

What did he invent?

He brought kindness and hospitality to the world. He was the worldís first and foremost expert at treating people royally.

Why do you call him our father Abraham?

Because we are all his descendants.

He has left us with quite a family tradition.

You are right again, Avi. Every time that we do an act of kindness for someone, we are emulating him.

Daddy, donít tell Mommy, but tomorrow we are going to make breakfast for her.

Avi, you are really something. You are really living up to your namesake, Avraham Avinu.

Simcha's Quiz

A ship is at anchor. Over the side hangs a rope ladder with rungs a foot apart. The tide rises at a rate of 8 inches per hour. At the end of six hours, how much of the rope ladder will remain above water, assuming that 8 feet were above the water when the tide began to rise?

Answer to Last Week's Question

Question: An old nursery rhyme starts: "Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar..." Let us find out from the following statements, of which only one is true:

ANN: Harry stole the cookie from the cookie jar.

HARRY: Fred stole the cookie from the cookie jar.

LISA: Who me?-can't be.

FRED: Harry is lying when he says that I stole the cookie.

The Answer!

If Ann is the thief, her statement is a lie; Harry's statement is a lie; Lisa's statement is true; Fred's statement is true. Therefore this cannot be the solution. In practice, it saves time to test the person who makes a statement about herself-in this case Lisa. If Lisa is the thief, then Ann's statement is a lie; Harry's statement is a lie; Lisa's statement is a lie; Fred's statement is true.

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