Vayeira: Giving Birth to Laughter



What can laughter teach us about ourselves? What can laughter teach us about safety in Israel? How may we laugh our way to victory over anyone who threatens our being?

In this week’s Torah reading, we get the answer from our Patriarch Isaac. He was the only one of the three patriarchs never to leave the Holy Land. Is it a coincidence that his name in Hebrew, Yitzchak, means “laughter”?

Studies show that laughter may actually be the best medicine for things that ail us. Perhaps laughter may then also be the best medicine for the world at large? Perhaps laughter is indicative of a world approaching the Final Redemption?

Fascinatingly, laughter as a healing agent is rooted in Yitzchak, thousands of years before modern research discovered its remedial powers. As one doctor puts it: “The recommendation for a healthy heart may one day be – exercise, eat right and laugh a few times a day.”

Laughter is a most serious matter. And seriousness is a laughing matter.


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