Parashah Vayera “He Appeared”

Please join our family in studying the Scriptures for this week’s Parashah Vayera, which means “He Appeared.”


Scripture Readings:

  • Torah:  Genesis 18:1-22:24
  • Haftarah: II Kings 4:1–37
  • B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant)
    • Bestort HaGe’ulah (Gospels):  Luke 2:1-38
    • Iggerot (Letters): 2 Peter 2:4–11

Parashah in a Nut Shell:  In this week’s Parashah, G‑d reveals Himself to Abraham three days after the his circumcision at age ninety-nine.  Abraham rushes off to prepare a meal for three guests who appear in the desert heat. One of the three announces that, in exactly one year, the barren Sarah will give birth to a son. Sarah responds by laughing.

Abraham pleads with G‑d to spare the wicked city of Sodom. Two of the three disguised angels arrive and Lot extends his hospitality to them; as well as, protects them from the evil intentions of a Sodomite mob. The two guests reveal that they have come to save Lot and his family. Lot’s wife turns into a pillar of salt when she disobeys and looks back at the burning city as they flee.

While taking shelter in a cave, Lot’s two daughters (believing that they and their father are the only ones left alive in the world) get their father drunk, lie with him and become pregnant. The two sons born from this incident father the nations of Moab and Ammon.

Abraham moves to Gerar, where the Philistine king Abimelech takes Sarah—who is presented as Abraham’s sister—to his palace. In a dream, G‑d warns Abimelech that he will die unless he returns the woman to her husband. Abraham explains that he feared he would be killed over the beautiful Sarah.

G‑d remembers His promise to Sarah, and gives her and Abraham a son, who is named Isaac (Yitzchak, meaning “will laugh”). Isaac is circumcised at the age of eight days; Abraham is one hundred years old, and Sarah ninety, at their child’s birth.

Hagar and Ishmael are banished from Abraham’s home and wander in the desert.   G‑d hears the cry of the dying lad, and saves his life by showing his mother a well. Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham at Beersheba and Abraham gives him seven sheep as a sign of their truce.

G‑d tests Abraham’s devotion by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. Isaac is bound and placed on the altar, and Abraham raises the knife to slaughter his son. A voice from heaven calls to stop him; a ram, caught in the undergrowth by its horns, is offered in Isaac’s place. Abraham receives the news of the birth of a daughter, Rebecca, to his nephew Bethuel.

Study Aids, Children’s Activities, Projects, and Homeschool Connections:

  1. Audio of Torah Parashah
  2. YMTOI Parashah Pearls for Vayera (Has Snack and Craft Ideas)
  3. Torah Explorers
  4. Adult Study
  5. Torah Class for Ch. 18, Ch. 19, Ch. 20, Ch. 21, Ch. 22
  6. Video:  Context for Kids – Vayera
  7. Video:  Torah for Children – Vayera
  8. Video:  The Parsha Experiment: – Vayeira: the Power of Abraham’s Influence
  9. Video:  Shaboom! Hachnasat Orchim: How to Make People Feel Welcome (Hachnasat orchim is the Jewish value of making guests feel welcome.)
  10. Video:  Shalom Sesame: Abraham and the Three Visitors
  11. Song: Three Guests Are Coming to Visit Us 
  12. Song:  Home, Home in My Tent
  13. Craft: Welcome Mat
  14. Craft: Salt Art – Lot’s Wife
  15. Snack: Roasted Pepper Dips
  16. Snack: Homemade Matzah with Butter
  17. Snack:  Barley Cake
  18. Activity:  Washing of Feet (Genesis 18:4)
  19. Activity:  Teaching Children About Hospitality
  20. Homeschool Connection:
    • Language Arts:  Write an essay on what it means to practice haschanasat orchim or hospitality. What can we do to make guests welcome in our home?
    • Copy Work: Copy Genesis 18:3 in your best handwriting.  Worksheet – gen183
    • Social Studies – Research the timeframe of the Parashah and add the following elements of the Parashah to your timeline – the 3 visitors, Isaac’s birth, destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Hagar and Ishmael are banished, and the binding of Isaac.  Label your map the ancient middle east with Sodom and Gomorrah.
    • Science: Video – What is Sulfur?  Read:  Sulfur Facts Video – Sulfur Experiment  Either write an essay or give an oral presentation on what you have learned about sulfur.
    • Art: Video- Where does a Shofar Come From and How is it made? Coloring Page
    • Music: Learn the songs listed above. Video – Learn to play the shofar.
    • Hebrew Lesson – Dalet






Black Beans & Rice

We turn to this recipe when our budget is a little tight.  Most of the ingredients are pantry and refrigerator staples.  Other ingredients can be purchased relatively inexpensively. The DollarTree even has burritos, grated cheese and sour cream.


  • 2 cups of black beans
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of EVOO
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 2 packages of tortillas
  • 1 small package of sour cream
  • Toppings of choice (Our family sometimes uses torn romaine lettuce leaves, avocado, olives, or cheese)


  1. Pre-soak or quick-soak black beans. Rinse black beans.
  2. Dice celery stalks and garlic.  Grate carrot. Place into dutch oven with EVOO. Sweat onions, celery, carrot and garlic until tender.
  3. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, taco seasoning packet and add enough water to cover black beans sufficiently.  Simmer on medium heat until black beans are fully cooked. Check often and add more water if necessary.
  4. Cook 2 cups of rice according to package directions.
  5. Mix rice and black bean mixture together.
  6. Serve on burritos with toppings of your choice.

Blessings from Our Family to Yours,


Homemade Chocolate Syrup

I try to minimize the purchase of convenience foods in order to better manage our grocery budget.  Several years ago, I stumbled upon a recipe floating out on the internet for homemade chocolate syrup.  After tweaking the recipe, I have been able to make my own chocolate syrup that very closely resembles Hershey Syrup.

Ingredients for Homemade Chocolate Syrup

2 cups of sugar
1 cup of organic powder
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
dash of salt

Place sugar, cocoa powder, and water in a sauce pan. Continuously stir mixture bringing it boil. Turn down heat and simmer until desired thickness. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and salt. Mix syrup. Let cool and then store.

Glass storage containers are the easiest to use for clean up purposes. I simply use a mason jar.

We use the syrup to make chocolate milk and on ice cream. The syrup tastes better than Hershey’s syrup.  The bonus is that it is free of any preservatives!

Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken & Dumplings is a perfect dish for a cold, wintery night. It’s a stick to your ribs kind of meal.

Ingredients for Soup

  • Left over chicken or turkey about 2 to 3 cups
  • 32 ounces of chicken or turkey broth (homemade is better!)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 4 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 stalk of rosemary leaves removed and diced finely
  • 2 stalks of tyme leaves removed
  • 3 leaves of sage rolled and diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • kosher salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for Dumplings

  • 1 cup of organic unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 c. and up to 4 tablespoons of organic milk


  1. Put onion, celery, carrots, butter, and spices in a Dutch oven and cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add broth and meat and to a boil.
  3. Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add milk until a soft dough forms.
  4. Drop spoonfuls into boiling soup. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Add parsley when dumplings are finished cooking.