Parshat Chayei Sarah: October 30, 2021 – 24 Cheshvan 5782

Erev Shabbat

Friday, October 29

  • Candle lighting: 5:53 pm

Parshat Chayei Sarah

Shabbat, October 30

  • Stone Chumash p. 106
  • 105 Psukim (verses)
  •  Haftorah: I Kings Ch. 1  “Ve’Hamelech David” Stone Chumash p. 1136

Important Shabbat Times

  • Candle lighting: 5:53 pm
  • Vasikin (Sunrise): 7:23:47 am
  • Latest Morning Shma: 10:05 am
  • Earliest Mincha: 1:14 pm
  • Havdalah: 6:49 pm
  • Zoom Havdalah: 7:05 pm

Parshat Chayei Sarah: Insights from the Tradition

Abraham’s beloved wife Sarah passes away. Although G-d promised the Land of Israel to his descendants, Abraham knows that the Land does not quite belong to him yet, so he offers Efron the Hittite a large sum in order to buy a portion of his land in Hevron. Initially, Efron refuses any payment for the cave of Machpela, but as the negotiations continue, it is clear that he wants 400 universally recognized shekels. Avraham is happy to pay the exorbitant sum.

Avraham asks his servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak, but only from his own family in Haran. Eliezer asks for a sign from Hashem: he will ask the first girl he meets for water. If she responds in the affirmative and adds that she will also feed the animals, then she will be the one. He meets Rivka, and the rest is history! Isaac marries Rebecca. Avraham re-marries Hagar (Keturah), and has several children with her.

The Moral of the Story

When Eliezer seeks a wife for Isaac, his main concern is that she be a generous and selfless person, even towards strangers. Rebecca tells Eliezer, “Not only will I offer you something to drink, but I will give to your camels as well!” The Sages tell us that the three most important qualities that we inherited from our ancestors are “Rachmanim, bayshanim, v’gomlei chasadim” – the qualities of mercy, bashfulness, and engaging others in deeds of  loving kindness. The Rabbis go so far as to tell us that someone who is lacking in any one of these qualities is of suspected lineage.

Mitzvah of the Week: Mitzvah # 63

It is a negative commandment not to insult or injure a convert to Judaism, as it says in Exodus 22:20, “And the convert thou shall not hurt, nor cause pressure upon him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” This prohibition is in addition to the regular mitzvah of not hurting any Jew. The Chafetz Chaim includes in this prohibition any new person in town who is a stranger. We should be especially sensitive to the feelings of the stranger, or the alien, as we were once slaves, and we should know better. This mitzvah applies at all times, in all places, and to both males and females.

Shabbat Shalom!