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Extra-Terrestrials’ Extraordinary Visit

Parshah Curiosities: Vayeira

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Extra-Terrestrials' Extraordinary Visit: Parshah Curiosities: Vayeira

When did the extra-terrestrial angels visiting Abraham come and go? A closer look at the storyline seems to pose conflicting accounts. Learn some of the related commentaries on the nature of this visit that will challenge the conventional understanding.
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Abraham Visited by Angels, Vayeira

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Sylvia U.K. October 31, 2015

Gestation Dear Rabbi,

Is it possible Sarah had conceived, but due to her age would not be aware. The angel needed to tell both Abraham and Sarah as when the pregnancy began to 'show' they may have thought it was a female illness as pregnancy would not be a realistic diagnosis. Therefore it is possible that Sarah had a complete 40 week pregnancy.

Would you let me know if this thinking is too diverse? Thank you. Reply

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan Thornhill, Ontario October 29, 2015

Which Angel save lot? Rashi does not dispute the words of the Talmud, however he chooses the words of our sages which are found in the Midrash (Bereishit Rabba, as well as Tanchuma) in which it is stated that the same Angel who healed Avraham (Raphael) was the very same who later saved Lot. There are dozens of examples like this throughout his commentary, and it is clearly Rashi's opinion that the words of the Midrash are closer keeping with the most literal interpretation known as Peshuto shel Mikra. Reply

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan Thornhill, Ontario October 29, 2015

Ait Haya Dear Shmuel, Thank you for your feedback. Please see Rashi's commentary on the second verse of chapter 21, and you will see that Rashi clearly states that the shadow reach the scratch at the moment of birth. His sources are the Midrash Tanchuma ( both versions) as well as the very same source in Tractate Bava Metzia you quote in your next comment. Since it was a leap year, was definitely not 354 days (the days of 12 lunar cycles). Reply

Shmuel Shimshoni Hadera, Israel October 29, 2015

Which angel saved Lot? I would think that the last four lines of Folio 86, page 2 in Babba Metzia would be more authoritative than Rashi. There the fact that the angel Michael who gave Sarah the good news, was the one who went to save Lot and his family. And not Rephael, as Rashi claims, who healed Avraham.
I understand that there is a close connection to this fact.
Sarah was to produce descendants who would bear Boaz; who in turn would marry one of Lot's descendants, Ruth. They in turn would produce progeny - David and eventually we shall be welcoming Moshiach any day now.

Shmuel Shimshoni Hadera, Israel October 29, 2015

Ait Hayah is 365 days - a solar year The period of time between one Pesach and the next is 354 days, a lunar year. and it will take 365 days for the shadow to reach the scratch on the wall.
A closer look at the texts says, "le-ait chayah Sarah will be holding a son" - not bearing a son. So after 365 days that son will be 10 days old, the third day after his brit. Reply

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