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Thursday, Mar-Cheshvan 23, 5779 / November 1, 2018


This week’s Parshat Chayei Sarah, isthe fifth Parsha in the Book of Genesis (Breishis).


At the end of last week’s Parsha, Vayeira, we read about the binding of Yitzchak (Isaac) to be brought as a sacrifice. The last minute, the angel told Abraham not to harm his son, that it was only a test.


In the beginning of the Parsha, the Torah tells us about Sarah’s passing at the age 127 years. The Parsha describes how, after her passing, Abraham, came to eulogize her and weep for her.  He wants to buy the Me’arat Hamachpeila (the double cave) in the city of Hebron which belongs to Efron.  Efron wants to give it to him for free, but Abraham refuses. After a lengthy discussion, he purchases it from Efron for four hundred silver shekels.


Q.  What’s the connection between the beginning of this Parsha, Chayei Sarah, and the end of the last Parsha, Vayeira?


A.  As mentioned, last week’s Parsha ends with the story in which G-d tells Abraham to bring his son Yitzchak for a sacrifice. Although at the last minute the angel told Abraham not to slaughter his son, for it was only a test, it nevertheless had a great effect on Sarah and she passed away.


Q.  Why did Abraham specifically want the Me’arat Hamachpeila for Sarah’s final resting place?


A.  Our sages explain because Abraham knew that Adam andEve were buried there.


Q.   How old were Abraham and Yitzchak at the time of Sarah’s passing?


A.   Abrahams was 137 and Yitzchak was 37. Thus, at the time of his binding Yitzchak was 37.


Q.  Who is buried in the Ma’arat Hamachpeila?


A.   Adam & Chava (Eve); Abraham & Sarah; Yitzchak & Rivkah; Yaakov & Leah.


Q.  As mentioned above, the cause for Sarah’s death was the shock that her only son was about to be brought as a sacrifice. Does that mean that she (didn’t live out her full life and) died before her time?


A.  She lived her full life. The Torah says, These were the years of the life of Sarah. At times G-d directs events in such a way that it seems to us that if the event wouldn’t have happened the person would still be alive, when in fact that person did live their full life.


On the lighter side: Two people were in dispute over a cemetery plot. Each one claimed that it was his plot. They presented their case to the rabbi. After hearing them both, the rabbi gave his verdict; “Whoever died first is entitled to that plot.” They stopped fighting…