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Thursday, Mar-Cheshvan 25, 5784 / November 9, 2023


This week's Parsha, Chayei Sarah, begins with the passing of our first matriarch, Sarah and first patriarch, Abraham.  Sarah lived 127 years.  Abraham lived 175 years.


Our sages say that although part of Sarah’s life was filled with trials and hardships, yet, she considered all of her years as equally good.  For, her faith in G-d was so strong thatshe knew that whatever happened to her was in essence good.


There are two Parshiot in the book of Genesis which describe the passing of a righteous person.  This week's Parsha speaks about the passing away of Sarah and Abraham, while Parshat Vayechi, the last Parsha in the Book of Genesis, tells about the passing of Yaakov. Yet, the names of both Parshiot emphasize life!  This Parsha is "Chayei Sarah" (life of Sarah) and "Vayechi Yaakov" (Jacob lived).


Our sages explain this as follows: "A wicked person, while still alive is considered dead, but righteous people are consideredalive even after they die!"   They live on through their good deeds and the good deeds of those who follow in their footsteps. 


Although the Torah tells us that physically Sarah and Abraham died and were buried, yet, the Parsha is called "Chayei Sarah" - "Life of Sarah" for our matriarchs and patriarchs live on spiritually through the good deeds of their descendants - the Jewish people of all the generations.


Here is an oldie... but a goodie:


* If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back and in your closet, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep... you are richer than 50% of this world.


* If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.


* If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ... you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.


* If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.


* If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.


* If you can attend synagogue, study Torah and practice Judaism without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death ... you are more blessed than millions of our ancestors.


* So, hold up your head with a smile on your face, count your blessings and be thankful to G-d.