Va-yera: A Path to Follow

There are a great many paths to follow from this week’s portion. One to consider is Hagar’s path from runaway (fleeing from Sarah in last week’s portion, Lekh Lekha) to exile. Another path to consider is that from Ishmael’s near sacrifice in the desert to Isaac’s near sacrifice on Mount Moriah.

In addition, though, another path worth following begins here: When Lot’s daughters each have a child by their father, the older one bears a son named Moab, and the younger bears Ben-ammi, “father of the Ammonites of today.” (Genesis/Breishit 19:36-38). Ruth the Moabite, who marries Boaz to redeem her mother-in-law’s land and family, is the grandmother of King David (Ruth 4:13-22). Naamah the Ammonite marries Solomon and gives birth to Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:21)….and so “mashiach ben david,” the messiah to be born of the line of David, is also of the lines of Lot’s incest with his daughters. See also Balak: A Path to Follow.

Click on the “WeeklyTorah” tag for more resources on the weekly portion throughout the year, or on a portion name for parashah-specific notes. (The series began with Numbers; posts for Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are being drafted, week-by-week.) You can also zero-in on particular types of “Opening the Book” posts by clicking Language and Translation, Something to Notice, a Path to Follow, or Great Source in the tag cloud.

The “Opening the Book” series is presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group pursuing spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.

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Virginia hosts "Conversations Toward Repair" on We Act Radio, manages, blogs on general stuff a and more Jewish topics at and

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