Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Shabbat Shalom – Vayera

Dear Families,

Shabbat shalom! 
?Please remember to change your clocks Saturday night.
?Our music teacher, Josh will be with us again this Sunday.  
Torah Talk:

This week’s portion has lot of really interesting and complicated stories. Here is a very brief summary of our portion.

God sends three angels disguised as men to Abraham. Abraham sees them approaching his tent, invites them in and excitedly runs to prepare a delicious meal for them demonstrating his stellar hospitality skills. One of the angels announces that in a year, Sarah, Abraham’s wife, will have a son. Sarah hears this news and laughs. You probably would too. She was 89 years old and Abraham was 99 years old!

The other angels also have an announcement. This one is no laughing matter. They tell Abraham they are being sent to destroy the city of Sodom. Abraham is greatly dismayed by this news, so he tries to save the city in an epic negotiation with God. (Learn more about this part of the portion here.)

A little while after this visit, Sarah becomes pregnant. She has a son named Isaac. Abraham and Sarah love Isaac dearly. Sarah is concerned for Isaac when she sees him playing with his half brother, Ishmael, so she sends Ishmael and his mother, Hagar away. An angel visits Hagar to reassure her that Ishmael will father a great nation. 

The most famous story in our text comes at the very end of our portion. The binding of Isaac is one of the most challenging episodes we have in the Torah. Watch the video.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS about having courage to speak up.


Abraham spoke up in order to save others. Can you think of anyone else in history has done that? Is there anyone doing that right now? Think of someone who has influenced you to do good in this world.  Spend some time telling stories to each other about this influencer. While you describe this person think about these questions:

  • How did this person influence you – What steps did he or she take? 
  • Were you convinced easily or did it take time?  
  • Was he/she persistent?  
  • After this influencer did his/her job, what new steps did you take?  
  • Did you, in turn, influence others?
  • How does it feel to influence others?

Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday, November 4– Junior Congregation (Grades 3-6) 10:30 am
  • Saturday, November 4– Minyan Yeledim (Grades K-2) 11:00am (Pre-service game time, 10:30)
  • Sunday, November 5– Bonim Event (K-2nd Youth Group)
  • Saturday, November 11– Torah Club (Click here for details)
  • Sunday, November 12– No Classes, Teacher Professional Day
  • Saturday, November 18– Drama on Shabbat ?
 Shabbat shalom,

Luisa Moss
Director of Education and Youth Programming