Parashat Chayei Sarah

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Parshas Chayei Sarah

[edit] Passing of Sarah

After hearing about the Akida, how Yitzchak was prepared for slaughter and almost slaughtered, Sarah's soul flew out of her and passed away.[1] Her life spanned 127 years, all of them which were equally good.[2] Sarah was 100 years old but like 20 years old regarding sin, who is not yet liable for punishment and was like a 7 year old regarding beauty.[2] She died in Chevron in the Land of Canaan which was also named Kiryas Arba - Settlement of Four after the four giants living there; Achiman, Sheshai, Talmai and their father.[1] It also alluded to the future destiny of the city which would have four holy couples buried there; Adom and Chava, Avrahom and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivka, Yackov and Leah.[1]

[edit] The Burial

Avrahom came from Beer Sheva[1] to eulogize Sarah and to mourn her. Avrahom arose from before his dead, and spoke to the men of Ches. He mentioned how he was a stranger from another land but had settled among them[3] as an inhabitant of the land. He requested a piece of land[3] by them to use as a burial plot, where he could bury his dead from before him. If they were willing to sell it to him, Avrahom would buy it like a stranger but if not he would take it legally as an inhabitant since Hashem had already promised[4] to give his descendants the Land.[3]

The Sons of Ches answered Avraham calling him a prince of G-D who dwells in their midst and telling him that he could bury his dead in the choicest of their graves. None of them would withhold[5] their graves from Avrahom burying his dead. Avraham arose and bowed to the Sons of Ches, the people of the land. He answered them that if it was there will[6] to allow him to bury Sarah they should listen to him and request[6] from Ephron ben Tzochar that he may give him the Machpelah double cave, that belongs to him which is found at the end of his field. He should give it to Avraham at its full priced value[7] as a burial property in their midst. It was called the Mearos Hamachpela since it was a two story cave[7] and because it contained buried couples;[7] currently Adom and Chava and later Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivka, Yackov and Leah. Avraham wished to pay the full price of the land so later the sale could not be contested. Similarly King Dovid purchased the land of the Beis Hamikdash from Araunah at its full value.[7]

Ephron was sitting amongst the people of Ches since he had been appointed as an officer over them that very day and had been raised to greatness due to the importance of Avraham who needed him.[8] Ephron the Chiti answered Avraham announcing to all the people of Ches who had left their work[8] and came to the city gate, to pay respect to Sarah.[8] Avraham should listen to him and not purchase it with money,[9] rather Ephron is giving him the field and the cave that is in it for free in front of his people, and it is as if he has already given it to him[9] to bury his dead. Avraham bowed before the people of the land.

Avraham replied to Ephron allowing the people of the land to hear, that he is not interested in accepting his offer of giving the field for free.[10] Rather if Ephron would only[10] listen to him and accept the money that he had prepared[10] and wished he had already given him[10] for the field, then he will then bury his dead there.

Ephron replied to Avraham, telling him that a piece of land that is worth only four hundred shekels of silver, what is its importance between two friends like them.[11] It is not important so let him leave the sale[11] and bury his dead. Avraham listened to Ephron and weighed out to him the 400 shekels of silver that were acceptable by all merchants, which Ephron had requested in front of the people of Ches. Ephron had promised a lot but did not nothing,[12] originally he declared that he wanted to give the cave as a gift but in the not only did he take the full payment, he took it in extra large Kentrin shekels, each worth 100 coins, that were acceptable everywhere, even in locations that used large shekels.[12] Due to this Ephron had the letter Vav subsequently removed from his name in the Torah.[12]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c d Rashi Berashis 23:2
  2. ^ a b Rashi Berashis 23:1
  3. ^ a b c Rashi Berashis 23:4
  4. ^ Berashis 12:7
  5. ^ Rashi Berashis 23:6
  6. ^ a b Rashi Berashis 23:8
  7. ^ a b c d Rashi Berashis 23:9
  8. ^ a b c Rashi Berashis 23:10
  9. ^ a b Rashi Berashis 23:11
  10. ^ a b c d Rashi Berashis 23:13
  11. ^ a b Rashi Berashis 23:15
  12. ^ a b c Rashi Berashis 23:16

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