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Torah Teasers Parshat Chayei Sarah

Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18 )

by Moshe Erlbaum

1. The Torah records that the lifespan of Sarah was 127 years. Where else in Tanach does the number 127 appear?

Esther 1:1 states that Achashverosh ruled over 127 countries.

2. Which two ancient cities in Israel have numbers as part of their name?

Kiryat Arba (Genesis 23:2) and Be'er Sheva (Genesis 22:19) both include a number in their names.

3. Avraham purchases the cave in Hebron from Efron. Where else in Tanach is land purchased by Jews from non-Jews?

In Genesis 33:19, Yaakov purchased a field near Shchem. In 2-Shmuel 24:24, King David purchased a threshing floor, which became the site of the Holy Temple. In 1-Kings 16:24, the Jewish king Amri purchased Har Shomron in central Israel.

4. Aside from the 400 silver coins used to purchase the cave in Hebron, where else is in the book of Genesis is the number 400 mentioned? (2 answers)

In Genesis 15:13, God tells Abraham that his children will be slaves for 400 years. In Genesis 32:7, Esav comes to attack Yaakov with 400 men.

5. Where in this parsha is the number ten mentioned? (3 answers)

Eliezer takes 10 camels on his journey (Genesis 24:1). Eliezer gives Rivka two bracelets, each weighing 10 shekels of gold (Genesis 24:10). Rivka's family wants her to stay in their home for at least 10 months before marrying Yitzhak (Genesis 24:45).

6. The Torah records that Eliezer finds a wife for Yitzhak by a well. Who in the Torah meets his own future wife at a well? (2 answers)

Yaakov meets Rachel at a well (Genesis 29:9-10). Moshe meets the daughters of Yisro at a well and later marries one of the daughters, Tzipporah (Exodus 2:15-17).

7. Which seven women in Tanach are described as Tovat Mareh or Yefat Mareh - "nice to look upon" or "beautiful appearance"?

Sarah (Genesis 12:11), Rivka (Genesis 24:16), Rachel (Genesis 29:17), Bat Sheva (2-Shmuel 11:2), Tamar, the sister of Avshalom (2-Shmuel 14:27), Vashti (Esther 1:11), and Esther (Esther 2:7).

8. Where is straw mentioned in this parsha, and when is the next time that straw appears in the Torah?

Rivka tells Eliezer that her family has lots of straw for his camels (Genesis 24:25). In Exodus 5:7, Pharaoh commands that straw should no longer be given to the Jewish slaves to produce bricks.

9. The deaths of which father and son are recorded in this parsha?

The deaths of Avraham (Genesis 25:8) and his son Yishmael (Genesis 25:17).


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