Abravanel's World of Torah

Blog on Parashat Vayera

Vayera opens with “And the Almighty appeared to him [Avraham] in Elonei Mamre as he sat at the tent’s entrance in the heat of the day.”
Q: If the Torah wanted to pinpoint the place or locale from where this prophetic vision emanated, then the verse only needed to state “in Elonei Mamrei” or “at the tent’s entrance.” Why was it important to add a prepositional phrase regarding this event’s timing “in the heat of the day”?
A: In that seemingly unassuming detail, a Torah truism is being suggested. But before we get to that basic fundamental, we need to determine: What does “the heat of the day” mean? The expression, plausibly, refers to a day’s morning hours when a town typically teems with activity. Peddlers, hawking merchants, hondling, and traffic were backed up from the “heated” exchanges that are naturally associated with vibrant shuk life and commerce.
Here is the Torah truism. Until Avraham’s time, when a truth-seeker wanted to commune with Hashem, it was done far away from society's honking and hollering. And it was done in the wee hours of the night when one could hear a pin drop.
That changed after Avraham underwent circumcision (see last week’s parasha). The brit spiritually charged Avraham so much so that he could even receive Hashem’s divine messages “in the heat of the day.” The first Jewish forefather connected and tuned in to the Almighty – around the clock and in any venue.

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