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
In This Issue of Torah Tidbits
- Lead Tidbit
- Candle A Day
- Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary
- Sedra Stats
- Maharal on the Sedra
- Vebbe Rebbe
- Portion of the Portion
- Parsha Points to Ponder
- ParshaPix Explanations
- TTriddles "Report"
- Person In The Parsha
- Word of the Month
- Short Vort
- Chizuk and Idud
- Divrei Menachem
- "From Machon Puah"
Recent Torah Tidbits
- Issue 1048 - Shabbat Parshat Chukat
- Issue 1047 - Shabbat Parshat Korach
- Issue 1046 - Shabbat Parshat Sh'lach
- Issue 1045 - Shabbat Parshat B'haalot'cha
- Issue 1043 - Shabbat Parshat B’har-B’chukotai - Shabbat M’vorchim
- Issue 1042 - Shabbat Parshat Emor
- Issue 1041 - Shabbat Parshat Acharei-K'Doshim
- Issue 1040 - Shabbat Parshat Tazri'a-M'tzora
- Issue 1039 - Shabbat Parshat Tzav-Hagadol-Shmini
- Issue 1038 - Shabbat Parshat Vayikra
- Issue 1037 - Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel-P'Kudei-Hachodesh
- Issue 1036 - Shabbat Parshat Ki Tisa
- View All Issue Archives