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Chayei Sara ~ חיי שרה ~ 5775
Sarah dies at the age of 127 and Abraham, amidst his mourning, must barter with the native landowners for a burial plot. The Council of the Children of Het is the scenario behind the confrontation between Efron and Abraham. Eventually the field and its entire cave are given over to Abraham and he buries Sarah there.
Abraham, growing old, calls his servant Eliezer in to guarantee that Isaac will marry properly. Eliezer swears to follow through with Abraham’s directions and bring a bride for Isaac from Abraham’s family in Mesopotamia.
Laden with gifts, Eliezer arrives in Aram and his prayer is answered: Rivka first gives him water and then gives water to his camels. Eliezer gives her golden gifts and asks for lodging. Laban invites Eliezer into their home and gives his animals water, food, and beds; then the food is brought to Eliezer. He speaks of Abraham’s directive and asks for Rivka’s hand to marry Isaac. Rivka’s family agrees and Eliezer gives everyone presents.
The next morning, Rivka’s family is reticent to allow her to leave. Rivka, however, affirms her willingness to go. Upon arriving at her new home, Rivka is met by Isaac, who was meditating in the field, and becomes his wife.
Abraham marries Keturah and has six more sons. Abraham gives all his inheritance to Isaac and sends the other sons off with gifts. Abraham was 175 years old when he died. Isaac and Yishmael buried Abraham together in the double cave. Yishmael’s lineage is given. His twelve sons are referred to as “Princes”. Yishmael dies and is buried among his people.
MAFTIR Genesis 25:16 – 18 ~ page 89
HAFTARAH I Kings 1:1 – 31 ~ page 90
Like Abraham, King David has reached an advanced age & his son Adonijah plots to usurp the throne. Bat-sheva, on the advice of the prophet Nathan, seeks an audience with the King and reminds him of his oath that their son Solomon would reign after him. David solemnly reaffirms that Solomon would be his successor (and gives instructions for him to be anointed immediately).
Parashah Study Questions
- Why was Avraham the one who had to make the arrangements for Sara’s burial (v. 23:3)?
- If Avraham is so old and even “stricken with age” (v.24:1), how does he later remarry and even have more children (v.25:1-4)?
- If the route taken by Eliezer is known as the “Fertile Crescent” because of its rich pastures and abundant water, why did Eliezer take camels and not donkeys (v.10)?
- According to the Rabbis, what was Eliezer’s intentions in V.39?
- Why is the word “concubines” in the plural (v.6)?