Chayei Sarah

Here are some interesting commentaries in English from Bar Ilan University. There’s one that discusses the new wife, Ketura. There is also some discussion about this early mention of Hebron – a city with which Israelites and then Jews have had a millenia-long relationship, but where they are now considered “settlers” and outsiders because of the 1929 Arab attacks which caused the entire Jewish population to flee after 69 Jews were murdered.

Torah.org provides the following breakdown:

1st Aliya: Avraham negotiates with Ephron the Hitite to purchase the Cave of Machpelah as a burial place for Sarah. Tradition says that this is also the burial place of Adam and Chava.

2nd Aliya: Avraham sends Eliezar, his trusted servant, to Aram Naharayim, (between the Tigris and the Euphrates) to find Yitzchak a shiduch – a bride.

3rd Aliya: Leading a caravan of supplies and riches, Eliezar arrives in Nachor. While resting by “the well”, he devises a test to ascertain the worthiness of a potential mate for Yitzchak. Rivkah (Yitzchak’s 1st cousin once removed) meets all the criteria and Eliezar presents her with the appropriate gifts.

4th Aliya: Eliezar is invited into Bisuel’s home (Rivkah’s father) and he relates the entire story of his mission and his encounter with Rivkah. Eliezar asks for her hand in marriage to Yitzchak. Bisuel and Lavan (Rivka’s brother) agree.

5th Aliya: Rivkah express her desire to depart immediately. Her family blesses her, and Eliezar brings her to Canaan. Yitzchak marries Rivka.

6th & 7th Aliyot: Avraham marries Keturah (some say she was Hagar) and has 6 more sons. Avraham dies at the age of 175. His two sons Yitzchak and Yishmael bury him in the Cave of Machpelah. Yishmael’s 12 sons are listed and Yishmael dies at 137.

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Parsha Summary by Rabbi Aron Tendler
Rabbi of Shaarey Zedek Congregation, Valley Village, CA
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