> Weekly Torah Portion > Shabbat Shalom > Shabbat Shalom Weekly

Chayei Sarah 5763

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

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING!  Almost every day Israel is under attack. Jews are murdered and injured. What are we doing about it? What can we do about it? We can be informed ourselves. We can inform others. We can be activists!

Aish HaTorah is well-known for its educational efforts to provide Jews from any background and any level of learning with an opportunity to learn the beauty, meaning and joy of our heritage. Aish is dedicated to not only the survival of the Jewish people, but to the thriving of the Jewish people.

Aish graduates have created - a media watch dog - which has 55,000 members who monitor the world press and report bias in the media. When a biased article appears in the press, an email goes out to the 55,000 members with the article, an analysis of the bias, a suggested letter of response and the email addresses of the writer, the editor, the publisher. I highly recommend going to the website ( and becoming a member and a defender of the Jewish people and Israel!

In confronting the present challenges facing our people, Aish has created The Hasbara Fellowships - a program to train college leaders to defend Israel and to organize on campus on behalf of Israel. (Hasbara is the Hebrew word for public relations.) The program drew the interest of the Israeli Foreign Ministry which chose to underwrite the program - until last spring when government budget cuts in Israel ended the funding.

You may have heard about the rally at University of Michigan where over 1,000 students protested the Arab efforts to have universities divest their investment in Israel. Hasbara Fellowship graduates were behind it.

The Hasbara Fellowships has developed materials which articulately present information to educate and counter the misinformation and prejudice. Check out -particularly the fact sheets and the handout cards - "Whose Jerusalem?" "What Do the Palestinians Really Want?" "Terrorist or Freedom Fighter? (contrasts Yasser Arafat to George Washington!)" "Martin Luther King, Jr. 'Anti-zionism equals anti-Semitism.'"

Here is the content from one piece entitled "4 MISCONCEPTIONS ANSWERED!"

MISCONCEPTION #1 - Jews are a foreign people without connection to
the Land of Israel.

  • Jews first came to the land of Israel as a nation, in the year 1272
    BCE, 1,800 years before the birth of Islam.

  • In the Jewish Bible, Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times. Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran even once.

  • Every time a Jew prays, he faces Jerusalem. Muslims face Mecca.

  • Jews have maintained a continuous presence in Israel since being exiled in 70 CE.

MISCONCEPTION #2 - Israel is not interested in living peacefully with its neighbors.

  • In 1947, the Jewish people accepted the UN Partition Plan although it gave the Arabs 85% of the land originally promised to the Jews by the British. The Arabs rejected the plan.

  • Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula (2 1/2 times the size of Israel) for peace with Egypt.

  • At Camp David II (2000), Israeli Prime Minister Barak offered the Palestinians:

    1. A Palestinian state comprising 91-97% of the territories (the remainder would be made up from Israel proper).

    2. Military control of Eastern Jerusalem and parts of the Old City.

    3. Repatriation of many Palestinian refugees and compensation to those who couldn't return.

MISCONCEPTION #3 - The Palestinians will embrace peace if Israeli "occupation" ends.

  • Arab nations attacked Israel 2 times before there were any
    "occupied territories".

  • The PLO was created in 1964, before there were any "occupied territories."

  • 40% of the West Bank and 95% of the Gaza Strip, comprising 97% of
    the Palestinian population, is already under direct control of the
    Palestinian Authority.

MISCONCEPTION #4 - Israel is using excessive force in dealing with harmless Palestinian protesters.

  • Palestinian terrorists, using bombs, mortars, and automatic weapons, hide-out amongst civilians and put children on the front line.

  • Israel has placed its own soldiers in mortal danger while battling against terrorism, in order to minimize the damage to Palestinian civilians.

  • During "Black September" in the 1970s, 2,500 Palestinian rioters
    were killed by Jordan in 10 days. (At the current rate, it would
    take 4 years to reach this number!)

You can get the handout cards (they are handy to have in your pocket when you get into a discussion at work or at the grocery store), you can underwrite a Fellowship to train one student leader for $2,500 or print 100,000 cards for $10,000 by contacting:

Elliot Mathias
63 W. 38th St., Suite 1103
New York, NY 10018
Telephone: (212) 391-6710
Fax: (212) 391-7630

Torah Portion of the Week
Chayei Sarah

Sarah dies at the age of 127. Avraham purchases a burial place for her in Hebron in the cave of Ma'arat HaMachpela. Avraham sends his servant, Eliezer, back to the "old country," his birthplace Charan, to find a wife for Yitzhak (Isaac). Eliezer makes what appear to be very strange conditions for the matrimonial candidate to fulfill in order to qualify for Yitzhak. Rivka (Rebecca) unknowingly meets the conditions. Eliezer succeeds in getting familial approval, though they were not too keen about Rivka leaving her native land.

Avraham marries Keturah and fathers six more sons. He sends them east (with the secrets of mysticism) before he dies at 175. Yitzhak and Ishmael bury Avraham in the Ma'arat HaMachpela near Sarah. The portion ends with the listing of Ishmael's 12 sons and Ishmael dying at age 137.


Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states:

"And Avraham was old, he came with his days." (Genesis 24:1)

What does the Torah mean when it tells us that Avraham came with his days?

He came with ALL of his days. Not one day in his life was wasted. Each and every day he accomplished something.

Each day ask yourself, "What can I accomplish today?" And at the end of each day ask, "What have I accomplished today?" One never stays the same in life; you either go forward or backward. Accomplishing something each days keeps you growing and going forward!

(or go to

Jerusalem  4:15
Guatemala 5:16  Hong Kong 5:29  Honolulu 5:38
J'Burg 6:05  London 4:16  Los Angeles 4:42
Melbourne 6:36  Miami 5:21  Moscow 4:33

New York 4:35  Singapore  6:32


Luck is when
preparation meets opportunity.

Happy Anniversary
Rabbi & Mrs. Yochanan Zweig
With love, Yitzi

Mazal Tov on Marriage of
Avraham & Esther
the Packouzes & Steins


Leave a Reply

1 2 3 2,914

🤯 ⇐ That's you after reading our weekly email.

Our weekly email is chock full of interesting and relevant insights into Jewish history, food, philosophy, current events, holidays and more.
Sign up now. Impress your friends with how much you know.
We will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe in a single click.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram