The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.
R' Frand began the vort by quoting R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in the halacha sefer Halichos Shlomo. He prefaced the vort by restating the known story of Avraham giving the angels food, including the delicacy of tongue and mustard. But he also noted that the Torah writes later in Bereishis 21:33, וַיִּטַּ֥ע אֵ֖שֶׁל בִּבְאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע - Avraham planted an Eishel in Be'er Sheva. The mefarshim write that Eshel stands for Achilah, Shetiya and Levaya - food drink and accompanied his guests who stayed in his hotel.
R' Shlomo Zalman asked - which act had a greater impact on the world? It must be the Eshel, since it continued for tens of years. Additionally, the gemara teaches that Avraham used the hotel as a way to spread monotheism. People would want to bless Avraham after they ate. He would respond to them - you want to bless me? Bless Hashem who is the creator of the world and provided the food. The tent was his vehicle to put Hashem's name in their mouth. Yet even though this was a long standing practice and the angels did not even eat, has a greater impact!
Indeed, the gemara in Bava Metzia teaches that all the gifts that the Jews had in the desert came as a reward for Avraham providing the angels with the food and drink (which they did not even consume).
Why is this first short interaction with the angels rewarded so richly?
R' Frand said that R; Shlomo uses this to teach that the harder something is, the greater the reward and the greater the recognition from Hashem. This is the 3rd day after millah, without anesthesia, on a 99 year old man. And yet he went out of his way on a hot day to find the guests. Hashem rewarded him for his tzaar and his mesiras nefesh.
R' Frand said a second vort along the same lines in the name of R' Horvitz from Romeima. We see that Avraham had mesiras nefesh in the beginning and the end of the parsha. The angels did not eat the food, even though he knocked himself out to provide for them. Similarly, at the end of the parsha, Avraham was willing to sacrifice his son at the Akeidah, but was unsuccessful. And yet we pray to Hashem on Rosh Hashana to remember Avraham's unsuccessful yet selfless act.
Why are these stressed and rewarded by Hashem? Because Hashem just wants a person to try. Judaism does not value results, it values efforts and Hashem wants to see that we have attempted to do what he asks us to do. This is the vort often said at a siyum. During the siyum we say that we work and get a reward and they work and don't get a reward. What does that mean? Of course there is a reward - but their reward is only if they accomplish. If the tailor does not sew the suit or the shoemaker does not fix the shoe, he gets no reward. But Hashem rewards us for trying, even if we don't accomplish.
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