Chayei Sarah- Shared Reading
Torah Portions 1.5: Bereshith (Genesis) Chapters 23:1-25:18
Hebrew Word/Phrase of the Week: Chayei Sarah
Meaning: ‘Sarah’s Life’
This week’s Torah Portion is called Chayei Sarah (חיי שרה ), and it means “ Sarah’s life.” This time we learn about Sarah’s passing away and Yitshaq’s wife coming along. This Torah portion has love, and also sorrow. How Abraham mourns his wife after her passing, and how at the end of this portion, Abraham is laid to rest beside his wife Sarah.
Chapter 23: “And Sarah lived 127 years..”. So our reading begins sadly this time, as Sarah passes away in Hebron. Abraham mourns for her, and must find a place to bury her. He buys a field in Makpelah, that has a cave on it. The property is sold to Abraham for 400 sheqels of silver, which was the currency of merchants at that time.
Chapter 24: So it comes to be, after Sarah’s passing away that Abraham is old in age, and knows his son shouldn’t marry a woman from the land of Kena’an. He commands his oldest servant to find a wife for his son, Yitshaq and that she should come from their family back in their hometown. So his servant travels far with 10 camels, taking nice gifts with him and asks YHWH to show him who he is supposed to bring back for Yitshaq. He asks YHWH to give him a sign, and that he will know she’s the right one by getting water for him and even his camels too!
Fun Fact: Camels are known to drink large amount of water! About 100 litres (26 US gallons) at one time.
Well, while he’s still praying these things in his heart, along comes Ribqah who offers water to Abraham’s servant and to his camels too! Abraham’s servant goes to her father’s house, explains why he is there and then asks for Ribqah to be Yitshaq’s wife. They all accept and he gives gifts to her and her family. Then she goes back with Abraham’s servant. When Ribqah gets to the land of Kena’an, she meets Yitshaq and they are married. Yitshaq loves Ribqah and was comforted after his mother’s passing away.
Chapter 25: Abraham also remarries, and her name is Qeturah. Abraham has 6 children with her and he passes away, aged and satisfied at 175 years old. Yitshaq and Yishmael bury their father in the cave where Sarah, Abraham’s wife was buried.
Fun Fact: Abraham lives for 38 more years after Sarah is gone. That’s almost how old Yitshaq was when his mom passed away.