Dear Rabbi, I’m a 35-year old Jewish man with a very large hole in his heart. I was raised a Jew and still think of myself as a Jew. But I really don't know what it is to be a Jew. I went to Hebrew school and was Bar Mitzvah’ed. But for some reason I’m having trouble accepting faith in our religion.
Where do I turn when the bottom drops out? Who do I talk to for answers that will sooth my soul? Can you offer suggestions? Thank you!
It’s becomes clear from Bereshit 18:2 that Avraham is looking around from the entrance of the tent and sees three men appearing, cause it reads: והנה שלשה אנשים נצבים עליו. But what did Avraham sees the second time the word וירא appears? It only says ‘and he saw’, it doesn’t say ‘when he saw them’ (והוא ראה אותם) or ‘as he saw them’ (כפי שהוא ראה אותם). And although it becomes clear he ran to great/call/meet them, it doesn’t seems to be connected to the fact that ‘he saw’, for he already saw them in the first part of the passuk. So what did he saw the second time he looked that made him ran towards them instead of ranning towards them right ahead?
Avraham stands at the entrance of his tent after his Brit - Bereshit 18 - looking around he sees three men at a short distance (even getting closer).
At a certain point they ask Avraham: “Where is your wife Sarah?” Avraham replies: “See (here) in the tent.”
Then one of the men (he) says: “I will return to you and your wife Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was listening behind the entrance of the tent, and he (that men) was on the other side.
Sarah starts to laugh which is heard by the men outside.
Then in verse 13 it says that G-d replies to this by saying: “Why did Sarah laugh?”, “Is anything too difficult for God? At the designated time, I will return, and Sarah will have a son”
So here is my question: is the he really one on the men? Or is it G-d which speaks from the beginning or through his messenger? Because these messengers seems to be close to the tent and hear Sarah laughing. And ‘he’ says: I will return, while later it’s clear G-d says He will return. And again in Genesis 21:1 this seems to be the case. We read nothing of one of those men (which were malachim) returning right? So how could one of them says: I will return?
How do I need to explain these things?
Rashi and the Radhbam seem to explain that one of the angels is speaking in 18:10 while G-d speaks in 18:14, but here’s the thing. Why would G-d speak through one of the messengers/angels in one case, but personally in another, while speaking about the exact same matter? If these angels are speaking and acting through the agency of G-d (like a shaliach), why couldn’t they speak out those words on behalf of G-d the second time as well? I’m not doubting what Rashi and the Rashbam say about these verses, I’m just trying to figure out why this would be the case (why G-d Himself speaks directly the second time around in opposite to the first time this message is delivered).
I’ve a short question about Bereshit 18:1 regards the opening words: וירא אליו יהוה.
Normally the word וירא (vayera) is translated as ‘He (G-d) appeared’, but the word is similar to וירא (vayara) which could be translated as ‘He (G-d) saw’. So could one translate the introduction as: And the Lord looked upon him by the terebinths (trees) of Mamre/in the plains (valley or vale) of Mamre, and he (Avraham) sat in/at the entrance of the tent in the heat of the day.
Of course, it’s the Lord that speaks to Avraham later on asking him why Sarah laughed. And thus one could say וירא means ‘He appeared’ in this case such as is the case in other verses like Bereshit 12:7 and 17:1.
Yet there are three men/heavenly abodes/angels who appear to Avraham. So one could also imagine the Lord didn’t appeared but looked upon Avraham after his circumcision and seeing him He sends these three visitors; it even says in verse 18:2 these visitors ‘stood above him’ as if they decended from heaven.
Any commentaries which relate to this idea of G-d watching over Avraham instead of appearing to Him?