In this week’s Parsha God appears to Avraham as he sits at the entrance to his tent (Bereishit 18:1). Before Avraham gets a chance to react, he see three men (angels, actually) at the tent, who he welcomes with extraordinary hospitality.
So what happened to his interaction with God?
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers a truly incredible insight here by suggesting that in Pasuk 3, Avraham is not actually addressing the guests when he says, “My lords, if only I have found favor in your eyes, please do not pass on from beside your servant,” but he’s talking to God.
Wait a minute. Avraham is asking God to wait while he serves human beings?
Rabbi Sacks’s explanation is unbelievably profound. He explains that in Avraham’s time, people worshiped the sun, the stars and the forces of nature — God’s creations. Avraham, by contrast, understood that God is beyond nature.
The Torah tells us that out of all of God’s creations, only one was set in His image: the human being.
Rabbi Sacks explains that, “the forces of nature are impersonal, which is why those who worship them eventually lose their humanity. You cannot worship impersonal forces and remain a person: compassionate, humane, generous, forgiving.”
He further explains that “because we believe that G‑d is personal, someone to whom we can say “You,” we honor human dignity as sacrosanct.”
Avraham recognized the Divine in the faces of the strangers. Welcoming them was an affirmation of God Himself. Avraham was honouring God through honouring His image – humanity.
This week’s recipe is inspired by the three strangers that came to Avraham to deliver the news of Sarah’s impending pregnancy. They were messengers from God – angels.
Grilled garlic chicken on angel hair pasta.
Grilled Garlic Chicken on Angel Hair Pasta
This recipe is ridiculously easy, but oh so delicious.
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut into strips 1 1/2″ wide
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons teriyaki or garlic sauce
- 1 lb angel hair pasta
- Cut up chicken breasts and marinade in garlic sauce for an hour.
- Bake chicken for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F in marinade.
- Remove chicken from oven (reserve sauce) and place on grill (if you don’t have a bar-b-q, you can broil it) for five minutes.
- Pour the sauce on top of the cooked pasta, adding another 2 tablespoons of garlic sauce. Place chicken on top of the pasta.
B’tayavon and have a great Shabbos.