Parashat Vayra is the continuation of Parashat Lech Lech, in which it is told about Avraham circumcised himself and his family as Hasham commanded him and on the third day Hasham came to ask how he was. This affair includes several matters – the coming of the angels to Abraham and Sarah to announce the birth of Isaac, the overthrow of the cities of Sodom and Amorrah, saving Lot from the coup, taking Sarah to the house of Avimelech and punishing him, the birth of Isaac, the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael from Abraham’s house.
The affair opens with the words: “Hasham appeared to him in the plains of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent” (Genesis 18: 1). As stated, Abraham our father was on the third day of his circumcision. God came to visit him and asked how he is doing (Rashi there).
Reb Noson explains what is said in the verse in a wonderful commentary: In Hachalei Temurot where things seem equal and a person has a lust to convert the good into the bad. The word ‘Aloni’ implies the word ‘trees’, the word ‘Mamra’ implies the word ‘converter’. Every person encounters the Halls of Transformation, two trees – the tree of life and the tree of death. The tree of death incites man to taste it and move away from the tree of life. Precisely by man standing in the face of incitement and trying to keep him away from the tree of life, he overcomes and clarifies what is required to find out in Hachalei Temurot and he chooses good, and thus he raises holiness – the good out of the evil, and gets to discover the divinity.
Now we can understand one more thing, our sages explain: why should they have mentioned that the Circumcision happened in “Aloni Mamra”, and our late sages teach that Mamra “gave him advice on Circumcising”. This idea is similar to what is said of the Jews when they fled from Egypt and stood on the shores of the Red Sea and Pharaoh pursued them, it is said: “And Pharaoh sacrificed.” Why is it written ‘sacrificed’ instead of ‘approached’? The Midrash teaches: “He sacrificed Israel to their heavenly Father” (Midrash Rabbah Beshelach, Parsha 21).
Reb Noson connects these things together and also explains them in relation to each person in a wonderful way: he who spares his life when he sees that the forces of evil, which are the Hachalei Temurot, increase and spread against him more and more, this reminds him of the concept. We go down in order to come back higher up because he sees that they try to reject him completely. It is reminiscent of the concept of ‘moving away for the purpose of coming closer. When a person sees that he is moving away from Hashem, it is to provoke him to come closer and strive even harder with all his might to get closer to Hashem. This is exactly what happened when Pharaoh pursued the children of Israel, precisely this persecution at such a difficult time when they realized that if Pharaoh overtakes them it is their end and Pharaoh wants to Kill them completely, it is what pushed them to return with all their hearts and draw near to God. Here too in our verse the reference in the words of our sages ‘he who gave him advice on the Circumcision, refers to the concept of Teshuva, as opposed to the desires of the heart. ‘Mamra’, which represents The Hachalei Temurot Against the evil forces overcoming man, is the one who gave advice on Circumcising – this is what actually pushes him and awakens his heart and repents, because when evil forces deceive man in the Hachalei Temurot and try to push his feet away from holiness It awakens his heart to return to his Creator.
Precisely by man standing in the face of incitement trying to keep him away from the tree of life, when he overcomes and clarifies what is required to find out in the Hachalei Temurot and he chooses good, and thus he raises holiness – the good out of the evil, then he gets to discover the divinity.
We have discovered the motivation that comes precisely as a result of the attempt to reject man from holiness. But another point is also needed, and this time in the opposite direction – sometimes a person raises his hands after he struggles and then he despairs, this too Rabbi Nathan learns from our verse – how to persevere patiently until the moment the light is revealed, and Reb Noson explains: , Man must sit at the entrance of holiness and wait for his salvation for the day when he will receive the revelation of God – his heart will open and he will feel the holiness, the closeness to God. But one should know that it does not happen in one day, and while the desires to get closer to Hasham, one goes through many trials that are all included in the words “like the heat of the day” which allude to the lust that burn in man and tempt him to sin. But the person has to sit and wait again and again and not leave his place, do not despair and do not give up and continue to sit and watch the entrance of holiness until at the end he gets to get closer to holiness.
It is precisely at the entrance of the tent on the hottest days that the biggest changes in life take place…
Reb Noson links this idea to the words of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav: “Sometimes the person is at the door and the Baal Davar comes back (a nickname for the evil instinct), but he who thinks of his truly eternal purpose and knows the purpose of his life does not return and does not move. He only sits and waits at the entrance of the Tent of Holiness which is the Tent of the Beit Midrash and the Tent of the Righteous, even though the heat of the day is burning, and by this “the Lord shows up to him” etc. ” .
We will quote the idea presented in a letter from Reb Noson to his son in his own words:
“I will not be able to refrain from writing to your out of my love to you a little of what I said last Shabbat. And the essence of the matter implies in the verse: “while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent”. The saying Sitting implies waiting a long time. “Which is, that man does not receive the revelation of God only by sitting and waiting at the entrance of the Tent of Holiness for a long time. And although in the process he goes through what he goes through, and the warmth of the day which is the lust burns in him, nevertheless he does not leave his place of mercy and peace, only he sits and waits at the door for many days “while he was sitting at the entrance of his tentin the heat of the day”. (Alim L’trufa 28).