by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS CHAYEI SOROH 5769 BS"D
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 was as beautiful at the age of twenty as she was at the age of seven. Commentators ask that a woman is more attractive at twenty than she is at seven.
1) This refers to the softness of her skin. (Mizrochi)
2) This refers to natural beauty without cosmetics. (Rabbi Ovadioh of Bartenura)
3) This refers to beauty that increases. A seven year old girl's beauty increases as she gets older, while a twenty year old maintains her beauty for a number of years. Soroh's beauty increased even from the age of twenty onwards. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
4) This refers to beauty that does not bring people to lustful thoughts. A seven year old girl can be attractive, but not in a manner that brings in its wake lustful thoughts. Soroh, even when she was twenty years old and very beautiful, nevertheless was so modest that no one had improper thoughts when gazing upon her. (Divrei Dovid)
Ch. 23, v. 2: "Vatomos Soroh" - And Soroh died - The Chizkuni writes that the Torah seldom writes about the death of a woman. The deaths of Soroh, Rochel, Dvoroh, and Miriam are mentioned in the Torah, and all these for special reasons. Soroh's death is recorded because in its wake came the difficult task of procuring her a burial site, which was actually Avrohom's tenth test. This being one of Avrohom's tests is also the opinion of the Ibn Ezra. Rochel's death is recorded because of conveying that she was buried outside the M'oras Hamachpeiloh. Dvoroh's death explains why the place was named "Alon Bochus." Miriam's death is connected to the cessation of water from the wellspring.
Ch. 23, v. 6: "Lo yichleh" - Will not hold back - This is Rashi's translation and he cites supporting verses. Although in those verses the word form ends with an Alef and in our verse it has a Hei, the Ibn Ezra says that we find this word ending on either.
Rabbi Saadioh Gaon says that this word means, "he will not be stingy," sourced from "kili."
Ch. 23, v. 9: "M'oras hamachpeiloh" - The double cave - Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer and the Holy Zohar write that Avrohom was interested in specifically the M'oras hamachpeiloh as a burial site for his wife, himself, and future generations because he once chased a runaway sheep into this cave and came upon the graves of Odom and Chavoh and found lit candles there.
Yalkut Reuveini says that Avrohom was aware of this location being then passageway to Gan Eden.
Zohar Hechodosh on parshas Lech L'cho says that when a person's soul ascends upwards it goes through the M'oras hamachpeiloh first. He adds that all our prayers ascend through the M'oras hamachpeiloh.
Ch. 23, v. 9: "Hamachpeiloh" - The double - This word has the numerical value of 180, the same as Yitzchok's years. Without the definite Hei at the beginning, its value is 175, the same as Avrohom's years. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)
Ch. 24, v. 10: "V'chol tuv adonov b'yodo" - And all the good of his master in his hand - Rashi explains that this means Eliezer took with him a document to the effect that Avrohom gave all his property to Yitzchok during his lifetime. This would be helpful in finding him a suitable wife, as Yitzchok was now himself wealthy. The gemara Ksubos says that one should not disenfranchise any of his children from their inheritance, even when one child is bad and the other is good. Why didn't Avrohom abide by this rule?
1) This was an exception because Soroh told Avrohom in parshas Lech L'cho that she did not want Yishmoel to inherit with Yitzchok, and Hashem appeared to Avrohom in a prophecy and told him to follow Soroh's wishes. (Baalei Tosfos)
2) Yishmoel was the son of a maidservant and the gemara's ruling does not apply as he is not totally considered one's son. (Imrei Shefer)
3) Since Avrohom and Yishmoel both went through a conversion process they are not considered father and son. Even though the gemara Kidushin says that a non-Jewish son inherits his non-Jewish father on a Torah level, this is only true when the father does not convert to Judaism. (Imrei Shefer)
4) The reasoning behind the gemara's ruling is that there is the possibility that a descendant of the bad son might be a worthy person, but Avrohom through his power of prophecy knew that no good would come of Yishmoel's descendants. (B'eir Basodeh)
Ch. 24, v. 13: "Vaa'sei chesed im adoni Avrohom" - And do kindness to my master Avrohom - Rabbi Chagi in the name of Rabbi Yitzchok said, "Everyone needs to be the recipient of kindness. Even Avrohom who was the apex of kindness, and it was his kindness that was the conduit for Heavenly kindness to descend to the earth, nevertheless, he was also in need of Heavenly kindness. Surely others require kindness to be bestowed upon them." (M.R.)
Ch. 24, v. 19: "Vatomer gam ligma'lecho eshov ad im kilu lishtose" - And she said also for your camels I will draw until they will complete drinking - Rabbeinu Bachyei writes that this act was purely a miracle, especially according to the opinion that Rivkoh was only three years old at the time. This was a fulfillment of Avrohom's telling Eliezer that Hashem would send along an angel who would crown his efforts with success.
Ch. 24, v. 39,40: "Vo'omar el adoni ulai lo seilech ho'ishoh acharoi, Va'yomer eiloi" - And I said to my master perhaps the woman will not follow me, And he said to me - Rashi points out that the word "ulai" is lacking the letter Vov after the Alef, allowing for a reading of "eilai," meaning that Eliezer intimated that he had an interest in having Yitzchok as his son-in-law. Perhaps this is also found in the actual words of these two verse. Eliezer relates that he had an interst in Yitzchok, as demonstrated by "ulai/eilai." He then goes on to say in the next verse that his master Avrohom immediately sensed this and "Va'yomer EILOY." He said that I had the intention of having Yitzchok for myself, but rather Hashem will crown his mission with success and not have to revert to Eliezer's wishes, and "v'lokachto ishoh livni mimishpachti umi'beis ovi." (n.l.)
Ch. 24, v. 45: "L'da'beir el libi" - To speak to my heart - The Torah stresses that Eliezer did not verbalize his test because this would involve divination, something prohibited even for a ben Noach, as per one opinion in the gemara Sanhedrin chapter "arab misos." Only thinking it is permitted. (Rabbi Yochonon Luria in Meishiv Nefesh)
Ch. 24, v. 57: "V'nishaloh es pihoh" - And we will ask her opinion - Rashi says that we derive from these words that a woman cannot be forced into marriage. This is most puzzling because a father can give his daughter in marriage even against her will if she is either a minor or a "naaroh," over twelve years old, but less than twelve and a half. Moshav Z'keinim therefore amends the text in Rashi to read, "she'ein masiin haY'SOMOH."
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