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6/7 Nov: Parsha Chayei Sarah

Shabbat comes in at 4.10pm; goes out at 5.13pm
Parsha Chayei Sarah literally means “the life of Sarah,” yet, despite this title, the parsha deals with her death at age 127, and Avraham’s purchase of a burial plot for her. The description of Sarah’s death follows directly after the Binding of Isaac, or, as we say in Hebrew, Akeidat Yitzchak.
Rashi explains the connection of the near-sacrifice of Isaac with Sara’s death by saying, “as a result of the tidings of the Akeidat,  that her son had been fated for slaughter and had been all-but-slaughtered, Sarah’s soul flew away and she died.” Modern commentator, Dr. Aviva Zornberg, states succinctly in the book Genesis: The Beginning of Desire, “Sarah is the true victim of the Akeidat; her death is its unexplicated, inexplicable cost.”
Families are a psychological unit. What happens to one member affects the others. It is easy to understand that parents feel the pain of their children, and other relationships are tight as well. So for example, if one sibling gets seriously hurt, it is helpful to “check-in” with other siblings to see how they are doing. Abraham thought he was just interacting with God and Isaac — but he was also affecting Sarah as well.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Paul.
November 4, 2015