Vayera: Doing With Confidence
Rabbi Yonah Burr
וַיֵּרָ֤א אֵלָיו֙ ה׳ בְּאֵלֹנֵ֖י מַמְרֵ֑א
Hashem appeared to him by the plains of Mamre.
Rashi cites the Medrash that Hashem revealed Himself in Mamre's property because He wanted to reward Mamre. When Hashem commanded Avraham to do a Bris Milah, it was Mamre who advised Avraham to go ahead with it.
A Second Opinion?!
Why did Avraham seek Mamre's advice? Hashem Himself told him to do the Milah. Didn't Avraham know that whatever Hashem said was correct?
Resolve, Not Impulse
The Maharal writes that, unless one is afraid his enthusiasm will fade, one should not do Hashem's will impulsively. He should act methodically and with thought. Based on this, he explains that Avraham did not consult his friends for their approval. On the contrary! He wanted to prove that, even if they advised against the Milah, he would not falter! He would follow Hashem's word carefully and deliberately.
We encounter a similar idea by Avraham's supreme test, the Akeida. Hashem appears to Avraham. He tells him to offer his son as a sacrifice. He identifies which son, slowly, deliberately. At an as-yet-undisclosed destination. On the way, Avraham is stopped by the Yatzer Hara, who, disguised as a sage, tries his best to persuade Avraham to drop the idea.
Here, too, Hashem was not truly testing whether Avraham would obey His command. He was testing him deeper: How would he carry it out. Would he do it with presence of mind and careful planning.
We can learn from here the importance of doing Mitzvos in a thought-out and deliberate manner. Like Avraham, we should take care to not even give the impression that we are acting on impulse or without fore-thought. Let us keep the Mitzvos because they are the right thing to do. And we will perform them confidently, with strong conviction!
Have a wonderful Shabbos!