Click HERE to access our Parashah Summary Archive with week-by-week summaries and study questions
Chayei Sara ~ 5774 ~ 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. Why is the Hebrew verb denoting Abraham’s payment of four hundred silver shekels – vayishkol – keahu (23:16) spelled without a vav in the middle of the word?
2. Why does Abraham describe G-d when he left Haran as ‘the G-d of heaven’ (24:7) but when sending Eliezer on his quest he refers to Hashem as ‘the G-d of heaven and the G-d of the Earth’ (24:3)?
3. Most rabbinic commentaries agree Rivka is a minor, if so, why does her family empower her with making decisions to whether or not to leave (24:58)?
4. Verse 25:9 states, “Abraham’s sons, Isaac and Ishmael, buried him in the Cave of Machpeila.” Does this contradict the Torah account of how Avraham banished Ishmael and his mother?
5. Why do we compare a hospitable, or open home atmostphere, or refer to it as “Sara’s Tent” and not “Avraham’s Tent” or at least “Sara and Avraham’s Tent”?