My 10-year-old daughter composed this d'var Torah to share with her class at the annual 5th-grade school shabbaton. I thought you would like it. The regular Vayera post will follow.
Parashat Vayera: Dvar Torah
Shabbat Shalom! Welcome to the 5th grade shabbaton!!! This week’s parsha opens with the story of Avraham greeting the malachim. The torah gets all specific about how Avraham treats them, how he runs to prepare a meal, and hurries to make sure they’re comfortable, and goes out of his way to serve them nice food. Last week when we met Avraham we were introduced to someone who is considered the first person to believe in one G-d and to spread that there is only one G-d. How does the hachnassat orchim that Avraham shows in this week’s parsha connect? A rabbi from the 1800’s known as the Netziv, Rabbi Naphtali Tzvi Judah Berlin, has an explanation that I like. The explanation is that Avraham, who recognized Hashem in shamayim, is able to recognize people on earth. Because Avraham recognizes Hashem and believes in Hashem, he can see the spark of Hashem, the tzelem Elokim, in every person. Seeing the tzelem Elokim is what makes Avraham act with such chesed in welcoming anyone and everyone into his tent.