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Lessons for today,
Shabbos, 18 Cheshvan, 5780 - November 16, 2019

Chumash: Vayera, 7th portion (Gen. 22:1-22:24) with Rashi.
Tehillim: 88-89
Tanya: English text/Audio/MP3
 3 chapters Hebrew/Audio/MP3,
 1 chapter Hebrew/Audio/MP3,
 Sefer Hamitzvos English/Audio/MP3

Summary of Today's Chumash
The seventh aliyah contains the story of the akaida -- the binding of Yitzchak.

This is the supreme expression of "mesiras nefesh" -- self sacrifice, and love of G-d, that we inherit from our father Avrohom. This is the tenth and final trial of Avrohom.

When Yitzchak is 37 years old, G-d tells Avrohom to offer his beloved son Yitzchak as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. Avrohom wakes up early in the morning and proceeds to do as G-d tells him. When they reach their destination Avrohom builds an alter and binds (binds = "akaida") Yitzchak on it. Avrohom is about to sacrifice Yitzchak when an angel stops him. Avrohom notices a ram stuck in the bushes and sacrifices the ram instead of Yitzchak. G-d says to Avrohom that He will surely bless Avrohom and greatly increase his offspring like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore; and his offspring will inherit the gate of its enemy. G-d also tells Avrohom that all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by his offspring, because he listened to G-d's voice.

This is the Torah reading on Rosh Hashanah. In addition, the shofar we blow on Rosh Hashanah is a ram's horn reminiscent of this story.

Later in this aliyah some genealogy information is given, and in it, we are told that Rivkah, Yitzchak's future wife, is born. They meet, and the wedding takes place, in next week's parsha, Chaya Sarah.

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