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Monday, Mar-Cheshvan 27, 5783 (Hakhel Year) / November 21, 2022


I begin with thanks and praise to Hashem for His blessing of our newest granddaughter. May we all be blessed with many simchas and much Nachas from our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


Last week’s Parsha, Chayei Sarah, begins with the passing of Sarah at the age of 127, and ends with the passing of Abraham at the age of 175.  In between, the Torah tells us in great detail how, after Sarah’s passing, Abraham sends his most trusted servant, Eliezer, to go back to Abraham’s birthplace and choose a wife for Yitzchak from Abraham’s family.  Yitzchak was 37 years at that time. 


We read about Eliezer’s travels; about the qualities he was looking for in the girl whom he would choose to marry Yitzchak.  He finds Rivkah who fits every aspect he was looking for.  She was kind to him and his people, she offered them water and for their camels.  The Torah describes the presents he gave her and the negotiations he conducted with her family to let Rivkah go back with him to marry Yitzchak.


When Eliezer returns with Rivkah and introduces her to Yitzchak, the Torah tells us, “And Yitzchak brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and Yitzchak took Rivkah and she became his wife and he loved her. With Rivkah, Yitzchak was comforted for the loss of his mother.”


Q.  What’s the connection between Yitzchak bringing Rivkah into his mother’s tent and marrying her?


A. Our sages explain that his mother, Sarah, was so righteous that three special miracles were associated with her. 1) The candles she lit before Shabbat would miraculously burn all week until next Friday afternoon, when she would light the candles again in honor of Shabbat.  2) There was a special blessing in the bread she baked;3) A special cloud hovered constantly over her tent. 


When Sarah passed away these three miracles were gone.  Before marrying Rivkah, Yitzchak wanted to see if she was as righteous as his mother.  Thus, he brought Rivkah into his mother’s tent.  When he saw that the three miracles returned, he married her and loved her.


King Solomon says in the Aishet Chayil (Women of Valor), recited Friday night before Kiddush: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is vain; a G-d fearing woman is the one to be praised!”


After being told by Eliezer about her kindness, Yitzchak also wanted to see the level of her righteousness.  When he was assured that she was as righteous as his mother, he married her and he loved her. This may be the secret recipe for a happy life and a successful marriage. A marriage based on true love; a love which is based on foundations of kindness and righteousness has a much better chance to succeed.


Q.   How many children did Abraham have?


A.    In addition to his two famous sons, Ishmael and Yitzchak (Isaac), Abraham had six more sons.  Their names were: Zimron; Yokshon; Medan; Midyan; Yishbok; Shuach (see genesis 25:1).  According to an opinion in the Talmud, he also had a daughter named Bakol.