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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 23, v. 1: "Mei'oh shonoh v'esrim shonoh v'sheva shonim" - One-hundred years and twenty years and seven years - Rashi comments that Soroh at the age of twenty had the beauty of a seven year old. Usually a twenty-year old woman is more attractive than a seven-year old child. Some change the text in Rashi to read that Soroh at the age of one-hundred had the beauty of a twenty-year old (see Rokei'ach). Rabbi Shlomo Ashtruk explains the text as we have it. Even if a seven-year old girl is very pretty it does not arouse the baser feelings in a man who looks at her. Soroh was so very modest that she brought about no such thoughts in men, as in the main she remained out of the public eye and did not adorn herself.

Ch. 23, v. 2: "Lispode l'Soroh v'livkosoh" - To eulogize Soroh and to cry over her - Why doesn't the verse mention that Avrohom came to bury her? This is because he was not sure that he would be able to purchase the site of his choice. If that were to happen he planned to bring her body to B'eir Sheva for burial. (Tosfos Hasho'leim)

Ch. 23, v. 9: "M'oras hamachpeiloh" - The double cave -
1) The cave had a two-story house above it. (Rashi)
2) The cave would be the burial site for couples. (Rashi)
3) Avrohom paid double its worth. (Rabbeinu Menachem)
4) The cave was located in a valley called Machpeiloh. (Rashbam)
5) Hashem buried Odom in this cave and to allow Odom to fit into his burial
niche it was necessary to double him over. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
6) The cave had two chambers inside it. (gemara Eiruvin 53a)

Ch. 23, v. 16: "Arba mei'os shekel kesef" - Four-hundred silver shkolim - Why doesn't the verse say "shiklei kesef" in the plural? When one sells an item by weight or measure, to make sure that he does not short-change the purchaser he adds a tad, called "hachro'oh." Similarly, the purchaser, when paying coinage, which was once dictated by weight/content, would also add a tad. However, if one were to purchase ten litres of liquid, the seller would not add ten "hachro'os," but rather, only one. Similarly, the purchaser, when paying numerous coins, would also add only one "hachro'oh." This was common practice in commerce. Along comes Efron and not only asks for the exorbitant sum of four-hundred silver shekel weight of coinage, but also that the coins be weighed one at a time and an "hachro'oh" be added to each coin. Our verse tells us that the price was four-hundred, but a SHEKEL at a time. The verse ends by saying "oveir lasocheir," this contravenes the custom of commerce. (Rabbi Shlomo haLevi Karliner in Sheima Shlomo)

Ch. 24, v. 1: "Bakole" - With everything - One opinion in the gemara B.B. 16b is that Avrohom was blessed with a daughter. If so, why didn't Yitzchok marry his sister? It was before the Torah was given, and we also find that Yaakov married two sisters, something the Torah would also later prohibit? Yitzchok was a first-born to his mother, and as such, he had the status of a Kohein. Although, as just mentioned, it was before "matan Torah," nevertheless, the sanctity of a Kohein was kept even before "matan Torah," as mentioned in Rashi in parshas Toldos (25:32). This daughter was born to Hogor, and as such, she had the status of a maid-servant, who is prohibited to a Kohein/b'chor. (Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel in the name of his teacher Rabbeinu Yitzchok)

Ch. 24, v. 36: "Va'tei'led Soroh .. acharei ziknosoh" - And Soroh gave birth .. after she was already in her old age - What relevance does this have to the proposal?

1)To let the prospective "m'chutonim" know that Hashem deals with Avrohom in a supernatural manner (Rabbeinu Menachem)

2)Yitzchok will be the only heir, as Soroh would bear no other children. (Chizkuni)

Sorah had already died, so even if she was young when she gave birth it made no difference. Any help would be appreciated.

3)Yitzchok would soon inherit Avrohom's possessions since his parents were old. (Rabbeinu Shmuel of Sanut)

The stress should then be on Avrohom's old age, as Soroh was deceased. Again, any ideas?

4)The innuendo that Avimelech, and not Avrohom, sired Yitzchok was still abounding. The gemara A.Z. 54b says that when a union of sin takes place there should be no pregnancy, but Hashem allows the laws of nature to take place. However, no miracle is wrought when a sin of this sort takes place. Since Soroh gave birth at a miraculously old age it is conclusive that the conception did not take place in sin. (Adnei Poz)

Ch. 24, v. 21: "V'ho'ish mishto'eh loh macharish" - And the man was amazed about her remaining mute - A number of interpretations for "mishto'eh" and "macharish":


1) Waiting (Targum Yonoson ben Uziel and Onkelos)

2) Drinking (Targum Yerushalmi)

3) Shocked and confused (Rashi) An explanation for Rashi's repeating the introductory word "mishto'eh" is in place.

4) Reacted to his drinking. He looked upon her reflection in the water, taking note of the open miracle. (Mo'ore Ho'a'feiloh)

5) Stunned to the point that he could not speak, "macharish," although he should have told her to not bother herself, a little girl, to draw water for a grown man (Tror Hamor)

6) Eying her and taking note of her alacrity (Rabbeinu Shmuel of Russia)

7) Taking note of her height and build (Medrash Hagodol)


1) As per the Tzror Hamor above #5

2) Remaining quiet and waiting to see if she would offer to draw water for his camels on her own (Ralba"g)

3) Telling his accompanying men to remain quiet (note that "macharish" is in the causative verb form). He told them to not relate to Rivkoh's family that he would now bedeck her with jewellery, even before finding out her family background. (Minchoh V'luloh)

4) Remaining quiet to see if she would hand him a bill for "services rendered." (Shomati mei'ishti shetichyeh lyt"a)

Ch. 24, v. 23: "Lolin" - For sleeping - Rashi takes note of the difference between Eliezer's request, "lolin," which Rashi translates as "for sleeping," meaning for just one night, and Rivkoh's response in verse 25, "lolun," translated as "to sleep," and meaning for numerous nights. However, Hadar Z'keinim says the exact opposite, that "lolin" means for numerous nights, while "lolun" means for one night. Eliezer requested lodging for a few nights to properly rest up from the arduous trip. Rivkoh responded that he should remain only that night as her father's premises housed numerous idols.

Ch. 24, v. 57: "V'nishaloh es pihoh" - And we will ask her response - Rashi comments: "This is the source for not giving a woman in marriage without her "daas." If Rashi's intention is literally her "awareness," Rivkoh knew what was going on. If Rashi means "her consent," then why wasn't she asked earlier? It seems from the end of verse 55 that the only issue was whether she would leave with Eliezer and his entourage now or wait 10 months to a year before going, and she was only being asked if she agreed to leave immediately.

According to the opinion that Rivkoh was a minor at this point in time, her father could give her in marriage against her will. No doubt, Rashi is commenting as he does based on his previous insight in verse 55, that B'su'eil had just been put to death by an angel. Being an orphan, Rivkoh could only be wed with her knowledge/consent. Moshav Z'keinim has a text of Rashi that reads, "she'ein masiin es ha'y'somoh she'ein loh ov ella midatoh." Chizkuni's text of Rashi reads "es hagdoloh."

Ch. 25, v. 11: "Va'y'vo'rech Elokim es Yitzchok" - And Elokim blessed Yitzchok - Avrohom did not bless Yitzchok because he feared that Yishmo'eil would harbour hatred for Yitzchok (see what happened with Yitzchok's blessing Yaakov, and only by virtue of an impersonation). Once Avrohom died, Hashem bestowed upon Yitzchok the blessing his father would have given him. (Targum Yonoson ben Uziel)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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