05 Chayei Sarah

וַיִּהְיוּ חַיֵּי שָׂרָה מֵאָה שָׁנָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וְשֶבַע שָׁנִים שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי שָׂרָֽה׃

Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah.

Shabbat

Name

Parasha

Haftora

Brit Chadasha

November 23 2019

Chayey Sarah
“Sarah’s life”

Genesis
23:1-25:18

1 Kings
1:1-31

Matt 1:1-17
1 Cor. 15:50-57

 

05 chayey sarah
Unexpectedly, the Torah section entitled Chayei Sarah (“The Life of Sarah”) deals entirely with events that occurred after Sarah’s death. The first verse of the Parasha counts the lifetime of the first of the four matriarchs of Israel.

The parasha tells the stories of Abraham's negotiations to get a burial place for his wife Sarah and his servant's mission to get a wife for Abraham's son Isaac.

The life of Sarah advise that love is deeply connected to fulfillment of the promise of a national homeland: in the case of Abraham and Sarah, Abraham’s desire to express his undying love for Sarah even after her death—is the beginning act of our people’s acquiring the Land. That act of purchase—legitimate and witnessed—which Abraham carefully modeled, was repeated throughout the generations. And Rebekah’s willingness to settle in a Promised Land with a husband who loves her also secures that land for future generations.

The second century BCE Book of Jubilees reported that Abraham endured ten trials and was found faithful and patient in spirit. Jubilees listed eight of the trials: (1) leaving his country, (2) the famine, (3) the wealth of kings, (4) his wife taken from him, (5) circumcision, (6) Hagar and Ishmael driven away, (7) the binding of Isaac, and (8) buying the land to bury Sarah.

Our parashah concludes with the description of the death of Abraham. The death of a person is a situation from which most people recoil and are repelled. In contrast, Abraham's death is presented in our parashah in peace and tranquility; one might even say, in festive language: "Then Abraham expired and died at a good ripe age, old and full of years and was gathered to his people" (Genesis 25:8). Is this appropriate?