Contributed by: Rabbi Mordechai Katz
PIRKEI AVOT, (5:4) tells us that Abraham was tested ten times and "he passed them all". Those tests (usually called "tests of faith") span both Lech Lecha and Vayera. According to some reckonings, the first test actually precedes Lech Lecha (the fiery furnace of Nimrod is counted by some) and/or follows Vayera with the ordeal of Sara's death and burial (counted by some, even though the Akeda is considered the ultimate test). This week's parasha, Vayera, climaxes with the ultimate test, the Akeda. Abraham had such a strong faith in Hashem that he was able to sacrifice his son, Yitzhak.
WE, THE CHILDREN OF Abraham, are continually faced with "tests of faith", as individuals and as a community. Sometimes we handle our situations correctly, sometimes we don't. But we should never lose faith in G-d. We should have a solid commitment to the idea that "G-d knows what He is doing". When challenged in life, we should carefully consider our options and alternatives, pray for G-d's guidance and help, and then proceed. If we succeed or fail, if we acted properly or not, those should be the issues of concern. But our faith in G-d must remain intact, and even increase as consequence of our experiences. Then we will be the true progeny of Abraham Avinu.