Parshat Vayera

I have been living in Jerusalem for almost two months now, yet the awe-inspiring beauty and history of this holy city still amazes me. The ancient buildings and houses, the dedicated learning, even the dry ground are all touched by a special kedushah. As Shabbatot go by, the weekly parshiyot now take on a potent meaning for me, since I am personally revisiting the steps where these Torah events occurred. I am following like a shadow behind Avraham,Yitzchak,and Yaakov, as I journey through Israel.

On a Tuesday a few weeks ago, I merited to stand in the footprints of Avraham, from where he overlooked Har HaMoriah on his way to perform Akeidat Yitzchak. Almost four thousand years after that event, I looked out onto Jerusalem and Har HaMoriah from Armon HaNatziv, which is traditionally thought to be the stop of Avraham on his journey. The parsha of Akeidat Yitzchak that we say each morning was playing before me. As we traveled back from Armon HaNatziv a few hours later, I felt a need to learn farther into this parsha of Akeidat Yitzchak, to look into the story deeper.How could I have followed the steps and not know the inner parts of the story intimately? I opened up a Kli Yakar when I got home and found a beautiful insight on this topic.

The parsha of Vayera contains this event of Akeidat Yitzchak. The story of Akeidat Yitzchak starts with the command of Hashem: “Lech l’cha el Eretz Har HaMoriah”. Typically we concentrate on the meaning and connotations of lech l’chah, but what about the Har HaMoriah, the destination itself ?

Today, the word Moriah has accustomed itself in our minds,and seems naturally fitting in the passuk. But the Kli Yakar points out that Har HaMoriah is usually just called Har HaMor, as it is in Shir HaShirim: :”Ailaich li el Har HaMor”. Why is the extra Yud Heh added to the word Har HaMor in Parshat Vayera?

The Kli Yakar answers that it is on Har HaMoriah that the Even Shtiah, the cornerstone of the world, lies. It is this supernatural stone connects the upper world and the physical world with the letters Yud Heh. As we say in the Shabbos song , Kah Ribon- “Ki b’kah Hashem tzur olamin”- “it is with the yud and the heh that He created these two worlds”. The yud heh is also representative of the the connection we have to Hashem as a wife to a husband, in between which lies the yud heh, the name of Hashem .Furthermore, Yud heh also has the gematria 15, corresponding to the 15 steps up to the Ezrat Nashim in the Beit Hamikdash. Additionally, there were 15 generations from Avraham until Shlomo Hamelech, in whose time the Bait Hamikdash was built.

The connection between the yud heh, the name of Hashem,and the Bait HaMikdash, are infinite. Har HaMoriah is deeply connected to name of Hashem and it truly becomes the center of the world. It is here in Jerusalem where the yud heh, the name of G-d , was used to create the world, and where the physical stones and rocks of the Bait HaMikdash can be transformed into something holy.

This year, I am privileged ,with the help of Torah LeTzion, to be a resident of Jerusalem. We daven every day that soon we shall see the Bait HaMikdash rebuilt, and that once again, the glory of G-d will spread across the world and bring all of mankind under its wings. On that day, Jerusalem will once again become the recognized center of the world and the center of us all.

Student Studying in Michlalah