Torah Tidbits

2 September 2014 / 7 Elul 5774
Issue 1020
Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sara
November 08, 2012

Parsha Points to Ponder

Parsha Points to Ponder

1) Why does the Torah, when describing Sarah’s age at her death, switch from singular to plural - first saying SHANA for 100, then SHANA for 20, and then SHANIM for seven (23:1)?
2) Why does the Torah state AND AFTER THIS (V’ACHAREI CHEIN) Avraham buried Sarah, referring to after he paid for the field and cave (23:19)? Isn’t it obvious from the flow of the story that he buried her after making payment which was described previously (23:16)?
3) Why does Avraham tell Eliezer he will be clean from THIS oath (ZOT) if the girl he meets does not want to return with him to Israel (24:8)? What other oath is there which required Avraham to specify THIS oath?

Parsha Points to Ponder by Rabbi Dov Lipman
Rabbi Lipman is an educator, author, and community activist in Bet Shemesh -

Ponder the questions first, then see further

1) The Kli Yakar explains that righteous people reach greater spiritual completion as they reach their older years. They accomplish more spiritually during these years and, therefore, the Torah describes these last years of Sarah’s life as YEARS compared to YEAR for her earlier years.
2) The Ohr HaChayim answers that the Torah is emphasizing that Avraham had full rights to the cave when he buried Sarah there. This is also why the Torah repeats the fact that ownership of the field transferred legally to Avraham (23:17 and 23:20).
3) The Da’at Zekainim Mi’Baalei HaTosfot teach that Avraham is telling Eliezer that he will be free from his promise to find a wife for Yitzchak in Avraham’s homeland but he still must fulfill his oath to find a wife for Yitzchak from somewhere other than Canaan.

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