Vayeira: Abram, Sarai, Hagar, Ishmael and...Exodus?

The Troubling Story Of Hagar's Outcast By Abraham

Rabbi David Fohrman
Rabbi David Fohrman


In Parshat Vayeira, the story of Hagar and Ishmael comes to a close. After being oppressed by Sarah, running away and coming back in Parshat Lech Lecha, Hagar is cast out of Abraham’s house, along with her son, Ishmael, and left to find her own way in the wilderness. The way that Abraham and Sarah treat Hagar seems so callous, so inhumane. But Hagar’s story also sounds eerily familiar. It sounds, in fact, a lot like the Exodus, when the Israelites were oppressed and then sent away into the wilderness. Is this a mere coincidence? Or is there more to the connection between these episodes? In this video, Rabbi Fohrman suggests that the story of Abraham, Sagar, and Hagar is in fact a precursor to the story of the Exodus — and that there is a powerful lesson to be learned about how we treat others.