Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Parshas VaYeira: The Spiritual War


Every week, Jewish men are supposed to review the parsha (weekly Torah reading), twice reviewing the Hebrew text and once learning a commentary for each of the verses. (Shulchan Aruch, siman 285) Each of the seven portions within the parsha can be read on each of the days of the week, starting with Sunday. If someone has not completed the weekly shnayim mikrah v'echod targum (review of the parsha), they can complete that parsha up until (not including) the upcoming Wednesday, as the first three days of the upcoming week are connected with the previous Shabbos. (Shulchan Aruch, siman 285, sif 4, sif kattan 11) Therefore, the week can be counted from Wednesday to Tuesday.


In light of the above, Friday would correspond to the third aliyah of the Torah, this week's reading being Parshas Va'Yeira. Of course, as Jews we do not believe in "random coincidence", rather, everything occurs for a reason, no matter how "random" it may appear to the naked eye. The Jewish knowledge that nothing occurs randomly can be found stated rather explicitly in the third chapter of the Book of Amos:

"Hear this word which HaShem speaks about you, Children of Israel, with regard to the entire family that I brought up from the Land of Egypt, saying. Only you have I known from all of the families of the Earth, therefore I shall visit upon you all of your sins. Do two people walk together unless they had appointed a time [to walk together]? Will a lion roar in the forest and not have prey? Will a lion cub give out his voice from his den unless he has caught [prey]? Does a bird fall on a net on the ground if it does not have a snare? Does a snare rise up from the ground unless it has caught something? Will a shofar be sounded in a city and the nation shall not tremble? If there will be an evil in a city and HaShem has not done it?" (Amos: 3; 1 - 6)


As is well known, the infamous so-called "World Pride" parade is scheduled to take place this erev Shabbos in the Holy City of Jerusalem, a city that stands for purity and sanctity, a city that represents the quintessential opposite of the "lifestyle" of the participants in the "Pride" parade.

If anyone had a doubt as to the perversity of the people of Sodom immediately before the cities in that area were destroyed by HaShem, the following quote from the fourth aliyah of VaYeira will quickly remove that doubt:

The two angels arrive at Sodom, one to destroy Sodom, and one to save Lot, they are invited into Lot's house and are about to "lie down" as it is nighttime.

"Before they would lie down, and the people of the city, the people of Sodom, surrounded the house, from youth to the elderly, the entire nation, from the ends [of the city]. And they called out to Lot and they said to him, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may know them... And the men who were at the doorway of the house were stricken with blindness, from the smallest to the greatest, and they wearied themselves to find the doorway." (Bereishis: 19; 4 - 5, 11)

RaSh"I explains that the men of Sodom wanted to "know" the angels by committing Sodomy against them. Even after being stricken with blindness, we find that the people of Sodom wearied themselves to find the doorway and have access to the people in the house. The unbelievable desire of the Sodomites to commit evil is shown by the insistence to sin.


"In summary: All of those who dress for the sake of being haughty, behold, this one forgets HaShem, Blessed is He. [He] does not care about the mitzvos and will not pursue good actions, for his entire intention is for himself, to adorn his transient body, which in the end will be for the worms. One who adorns his body [for the sake of being haughty], he is close to sexual promiscuity,... and he will come to laughter and light-headedness." Those who are haughty are considered an abomination to HaShem, as it says, "An abomination of HaShem are all of those who are haughty of heart." (Mishlei: 16; 5) The haughty individuals are also given over to the desires of their evil inclinations, for since he is abominable, HaShem doesn't assist him against his Yetzer HaRa.

Maybe the parade being referred to as the "Pride Parade" is not far off from the truth, for these people are trying to push their sexual perversions and promiscuity on the people of Jerusalem.

May HaShem answer our tefillos and Torah learning and cancel this parade. Amen!