The Visit Part One
He is 99 years old. It is three days after painful surgery. Abraham circumcised himself for God. He is expectant of a life changed. Does his soul soar as never before? Does he feel a different connection with God? But he is not waiting. Abraham does as he always did; he sits in front of his tent looking out for guests, no matter whom, or from where. He opens his home even to citizens of Sodom.
Abraham will never sit and wait for God. He acts with the clear understanding that changes will come when God chooses.
And then, God appears. “To visit the sick,” teach the Sages. Not to heal Abraham, but to check him out – Bikkur – is to examine, as in Bikkur Mumim – examining an animal before it is brought as an offering on the Altar.
What does God examine?
God wanted to see whether Abraham would wait for a vision or if he would act on his own.
God appears to Abraham in the clearest vision the patriarch has ever experienced. “Sit, Abraham,” God instructs him, “let your descendants learn that I will appear when they sit in judgment.” The Bikkur turns into a lesson. God teaches Abraham, that someone who accepts the responsibility to act rather than wait, merits to sit even in the Divine Presence.
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