Torah Tidbits

21 August 2014 / 25 Av 5774
Issue 1020
Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sara
November 08, 2012

Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

Parshat Chayei Sarah is perhaps not the most aptly named parsha. For the opening narrative tells us something about Sarah’s age when she died and Avraham’s strenuous efforts to pay for her burial plot in the field of Efron the Hittite - but essentially relates nothing about Sarah’s life!
Why does the Torah put so much stress on Avraham’s insistence on purchasing that parcel of land rather than accepting the gift offered to him? Moreover, why did Avraham dally over the acquisition of a burial ground, only to take care of that matter urgently after Sarah’s death?
Yonatan Breuer, of blessed memory, explained that Avraham, whose life was essentially nomadic and whose mission was so pioneering in nature, had neither the time nor the opportunity to put down roots. Only after Sarah’s demise, following Yitzchak’s close encounter with death in the matter of the Akeida, did Avraham see the sudden imperative to found a permanent estate.
Avraham understood that if Yitzchak was to continue his legacy, he, Avraham, needed to establish a personal foothold in Eretz Yisrael. And only when Rivka heard of Sara’s burial in Ma’arat Hamechpala (bought by Avraham for 400 shekels of silver), would she later consent to leave Haran to re-establish Sarah’s sanctified tent. In a sense, then, this was the meaning of Sarah’s death - and her life.

Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff

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