So, there I was, sitting in my office this past week, when all of a sudden, a middle-aged African American man came over to me, and asked me the following, “Do you know how to cook this?” I looked to see what he was holding, and it was none other than a Shefa brand container of Chummus. I was waiting for him to start laughing and tell me that he was joking, but after a few seconds, I realized that he was being completely serious. He genuinely wanted to know what to do with the container of Chummus and how to cook it. 

In the nicest way possible I explained to him that Chummus actually is not meant to be cooked, rather, it is a dipping dish. I told him he can use crackers or anything else for that matter and enjoy it that way. The man told me that his mother got him the 7-Mile food box this week, and he just didn’t know what Chummus was or what to do with it. He thanked me for my advice and left. 

The Torah (18:2) tells us: וישא עיניו וירא...וירא – He lifted his eyes and saw…and saw. This passuk is referring to the time when Avraham Avinu saw the “men” in the distance and went out to invite them to his home. Rashi wonders why the same passuk uses the same word twice: וירא...וירא. Isn’t that redundant? What did Avraham Avinu see twice? 

Rashi explains that the two וירא’s refer to two types of seeing. The first וירא refers to the simple understanding of the passuk, namely, that Avraham Avinu saw the angels. The second וירא refers to a deeper type of seeing, namely, that Avraham Avinu understood that the angels were not coming to him due to his pain from the Bris Milah. 

On some level, if you think about it, the Torah is giving us an incredibly important model to live by: וירא...וירא. We have to be like Avraham Avinu and learn to look at things twice. Looking once is nice, but it will only give you a superficial and basic level of understanding about what is happening. Looking a second time, however, will give you a deeper and broader sense of understanding about what is happening. 

The Torah is teaching us that successful people look, not once, but twice. You see, often times in life, you will witness something, say, a person acting or saying something bad, and the natural reaction is to jump to conclusions and assume bad and negative thoughts about the person.  

What we learn from Avraham Avinu is that if we are willing to look a second time, a second וירא, then we will approach any given situation from a much greater level of understanding and appreciation. If we don’t jump to conclusions about so and so based on an initial glance, but rather, we learn to look again – more deeply – then we will be happier people. 

When the man came in to my office, asking me how to cook Chummus, my initial וירא of the situation led me to judge the man negatively. But with a second וירא, looking again – more deeply – into the matter, I came to the conclusion that maybe this man simply had no life experience with Chummus. That didn’t make him bad, naïve, or silly, it was just the facts of the situation. 

If we try our best to look twice – implement two וירא’s – at ourselves and others, our lives will take on more meaning, depth, nuance, and satisfaction. 

Have a holy Shabbos!