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Chayei Sarah 5761

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

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING!  With what's going on in Israel, with the American elections and in everyone's individual lives, there is a lot of stress going around. I saw the following little poem in an article by Danny Verbov on his experiences in the Israeli army.

For every ailment under the sun,
There's a remedy or there's none.
If there's one, find it;
If there's none, never mind it.

Life has its challenges and how we deal with them determines our level of stress. We all believe in and rely on something -- our intelligence, our power, our connections, our money ... or God. King David wrote in Psalm 20, "There are those who trust in their chariots and those who trust in their horses, but we call out in the name of the Almighty." From a Jewish point of view, we can really only rely on the Almighty; all else will ultimately fail us without the help of the Almighty.

Here is a meditation from My Father, My King --Connecting with the Creator by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin (It is available from your local Jewish book store or by call toll-free 877-758-3242.) Reading it out loud will not only help calm the nerves, it will help connect to your Creator which is the prime goal of life.

Hear your Father, your King, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, saying to you:

  • Everything that I cause to happen in your life is for your
    ultimate benefit.

  • Trust in My absolute love and concern for your total welfare. Your view of life is limited. Some things you will recognize immediately as beneficial; in other situations, you will need to wait a bit before recognizing that the event was for your good. And with some occurrences in life, only upon entering the next world will you see how whatever happened was for your benefit.

  • Your awareness that My love for you is total and that everything which took place is for your good, will enable you to experience much joy throughout your life. This awareness will free you from a great deal of pain and suffering. Even when pain and suffering are inevitable, the realization that is for your ultimate benefit will make it easier to bear.

  • I have given you free will. You can choose to view your life in ways that will cause you unnecessary suffering, distress, and misery. As your loving Father, I want you to realize that all the events in your life are positive. Eventually, you will see this for yourself, but the earlier you do so, the more joy you will experience.

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) spoke to Efron in the ears of the people of the land, saying, 'If you will only listen to me, I want to give the money for the land; take it from me and I will bury my dead there.' " Rashi tell us that Avraham said to Efron, "The money is completely ready for you. I wish that I had already given it to you!" Why was Avraham so anxious to give the money to Efron?

The Torah contrasts Avraham's attitude towards money with Efron's. Efron had a strong desire for money and was very exacting to get a high price for his land even though he spoke of his generosity. Avraham, on the other hand, was eager to pay his debt before it was actually due. He did not want to keep money that was not his even for a very short while. Therefore, he said, "I wish I had already given it."

There are some people who keep procrastinating when it comes to paying back debts or paying for an item they have bought. They are basically honest and would never think of cheating anyone. However, they find it extremely difficult to part with their money. Therefore, they keep pushing off returning money that is due to others. Learn from Avraham to feel pleasure and joy when you pay off a debt!

CANDLE LIGHTING - November 24:

Jerusalem  4:00
Chicago 4:05  Dallas 5:04  Guatemala 5:12
Hong Kong 5:22  Honolulu 5:36  J'Burg 6:23
London 3:43  Los Angeles 4:27  Melbourne 8:01
Miami 5:12  Montreal 3:58  Moscow 3:52

New York 4:14  Seattle 4:06  Singapore 6:35
Toronto 4:27


Determine the temperature in your home
by a warm heart, not a hot head.

Dedicated by...

In Honor of
My Beloved Cousin
Rabbi Yitz Greenman
with love,
Adam Greenman

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