by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS CHAYEI SOROH 5768 BS"D
Ch. 23, v. 1: "Va'yi'h'yu chayei Soroh" - And these were the years of the life of Soroh - Rashi cites a medrash, which says that the soton appeared to Soroh and told her of the "akeidoh," and that Yitzchok was actually sacrificed. Soroh died upon hearing this inaccurate report. Why was it that her death came about through deception? This is a response in kind, "midoh k'neged midoh," for her likewise attempting to cover up her having laughed when she heard that she would bear a son in her old age. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)
Ch. 23, v. 3: "Va'yokom Avrohom mei'al pnei meiso" - And Avrohom stood up from the presence of his deceased - Rabbeinu Bachyei derives from "va'yokom" that one who speaks for a group of people should stand in their honour. Perhaps there is a lesson here. No doubt Avrohom's words of eulogy were very emotional and spiritually lofty. The medrash says that his eulogy was the alphabetical verses of Mishlei 31, commonly known as "eishes chayil." Now he had to get down to the nitty-gritty of purchasing a burial plot for his wife, and he had to deal with an unknown person at this point in time, the owner of the "m'oras hamachpeiloh." We might consider this as a major descent from the lofty eulogy. However, the verse tells us otherwise. Be it the powerful, inspiring, emotional words of "eishes chayil," or a "real estate deal," since he dealt with the mitzvoh at hand, this too, was an elevation. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 23, v. 4: "V'ek'b'roh meisi" - And I will bury my deceased - Pay attention throughout this parsha and you will note that sometimes we find ES before the deceased and sometimes not. The Mahari"k explains that Avrohom asked for an "achuzas kever" (our verse), meaning more than just a single burial plot for his wife. He wanted a family burial site. "V'ek'b'roh meisi" and wherever we do not have the added word ES means only one person. Here Avrohom is simply saying that he wants a family burial site, but at this point in time only his wife will be buried there, hence no ES. The bnei Cheis said to him that he may purchase a site for many family members, "b'mivchar k'vo'reinu k'vore ES mei'secho" (verse 6), but because of his being such an honourable personage he may bury just his wife in anyone's burial site, "lo yichleh mimcho milikvore mei'secho" (verse 6) without ES. Avrohom responded that he wanted to pay and have the right to have other family members buried there as well, "im yeish es naf'sh'chem likvore ES meisi" (verse 8). Therefore please arrange a meeting between me and Efron. Efron responded "n'satihoh loch" (verse 11) gratis, but only for "kvore mei'secho" (verse 11), only Soroh, no ES. Avrohom made it clear to Efron that he wanted the right to bury others as well, so he offered money and said, "v'ek'b'roh ES meisi" (verse 13). Efron agreed and said "v'ES meis'cho k'vore" (verse 15).
Ch. 23, v. 8: "B'Efron" - With Efron - From the verses about this incident involving Efron we do not see much about Efron's character. Perhaps he was a "say much and do little" person because he seemingly offered the burial plot gratis and then rescinded. Perhaps he would have remained with his offer, but Avrohom insisted that he pay. The M.R. says that Efron was money hungry and stingy, applying the verse "nivhal l'hone ish ra ayin" (Mishlei 28:22). However, Tosfos on the gemara Megiloh 10b d.h. Rabboh bar Ofron says this Rabbi's name is not Rabboh bar Efron, but bar Ofron, as "v'shem R'SHO'IM yirkov."
Ch. 23, v. 17: "Va'yokom s'dei Efron" - And the field belonging to Efron became elevated - We know that in the future Eisov would lay claim to a burial spot in this cave (gemara Sotoh). This is alluded to in the first letters of these three words, which spell out EiSoV. (Baal Haturim)
C h. 23, v. 17: "Va'yokom s'dei Efron" - And the field belonging to Efron became elevated - Medrash Agodoh explains these words literally. Upon Avrohom's acquiring the field it was raised up approximately half an "amoh" above the surrounding area.
Ch. 24, v. 8: "V'im lo soveh ho'ishoh lo'leches acha'recho" - And if the woman will not desire to follow you - Avrohom's message to Eliezer was very clear. Even if he were to find a mate for Yitzchok who seems to have all the requirements needed to be his wife, but only requests that Yitzchok come to live in her city, then she should be dropped. "Rak es bni lo sosheiv shomoh," just do not have my son settle there. If Yitzchok were to move there, he would likely be very negatively influenced by his in-laws and the general community, notwithstanding having a wonderful wife.
Ch. 24, v. 12: "Va'yomar" - And he said - The cantellation on this word is a "shalshe'les," which appears only seven times. Perhaps there is an allusion to Eliezer's praying that Avrohom merit to have an appropriate wife for Yitzchok who would have his father's values and forge a CHAIN of continuity. (Nirreh li)
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