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Chayei Sara ~ 5773 ~ חיי שרה
Sarah dies at the age of 127 and Abraham, midst his mourning, must barter with the native landowners for a burial plot. The Council of the Children of Heth 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.
Eliezer, laden with gifts, arrives in Aram and his prayer is answered: Rivka first gives him water and then water to his camels. He gives her golden gifts and asks for lodging. Laban invites Eliezer into their home and gives the animals water, food, and bed; then the food is brought to Eliezer. Eliezer tells of Abraham’s directive and then 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. However, she affirms her willingness to go. Upon arriving at her new home, Rivka is met by Isaac, who was mediating 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 together, bury Abraham 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 – 92
King David (like Abraham) has reached an advanced age and 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
1. What Jewish attitude towards burial places is substantiated by Abraham’s desire to NOT bury Sara in the offered plot (v. 23:6)?
2. If Abraham was “stricken in age” how is that he lived another 38 years and had 6 more sons?
3. Isn’t it strange that in a Patriarchal society Rivka mentions her mother’s lineage to Eliezer (24:24)?
4. How many times has Eliezer bowed and thanked G-d?
5. Why did Rivka need to veil herself in front if Isaac but not in front of the servant (v. 65)?