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Parshat Hayyei Sarah

Though the portion means “the life of Sarah” it is in fact her death, at 127-years-old, that sets this parsha in motion. Abraham insists on purchasing, rather than accepting as a gift from the Hittites, land in which to bury his beloved wife. Much negotiating ensues until finally, paying “four hundred shekels of silver at the going merchant’s rate” Abraham “buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah”, a place we descendants of Abraham still visit today. Abraham instructs his servant to “go to the land of my birth and get a wife for my son Isaac”. And so enters the beautiful matriarch Rebekah, who reveals she is The One when she kindly offers the servant, a stranger to her, water for him and his thirsty camels. The deal is sealed when it turns out she is Abraham’s kin; Rebekah agrees to leave her family immediately for her date with destiny. “Raising her eyes, Rebekah saw Isaac...Isaac loved her, and thus found comfort after his mother’s death.” Abraham, who remarried Keturah (who some commentators believe may actually be Hagar) lives until 175-years-old; he, too is buried at Machpelah, by his sons Isaac and Ishmael. Shabbat Shalom!

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