General Overview: In this week’s Torah reading, Vayeira, angels visit Avraham and Sarah, informing them that Sarah would give birth to a child despite her advanced age. The angels whisk Lot and his daughters out of Sodom, and overturn and destroy the entire region. Avimelech, king of the Philistines, attempts to make Sarah part of his harem, but through divine intervention she is released unharmed. Isaac is born and Ishmael is expelled from Avraham’s household. Avraham makes a peace treaty with Avimelech. The story of the “Binding of Isaac” is recounted – Isaac’s “near-sacrifice” experience.
Aliya Summary: G‑d paid Avraham a visit (as he recovered from his Bris), as he sat at the entrance of his tent. Avraham suddenly noticed three travelers passing by, and ran to invite them into his home. These passersby, who were actually angels in human disguise, accepted the invitation, and Avraham and Sarah prepared a sumptuous feast for them. The angels informed Avraham that Sarah would give birth to a child exactly one year later. Eighty-nine-year-old, post-menopausal Sarah, who was standing nearby, heard this assurance, and laughed. G‑d was displeased with Sarah’s lack of faith.