Torah Portion: Hayei Sarah (Sarah’s Life) B’resheet Genesis 23-25
HafTorah: I Kings 1:1-31
Tonight our Torah section covers the death of both Sarah and of Avraham. In it we will see the biblical description of how they both lived and died. I want us to look for clues about how they dealt with life and for clues that gives us an idea of what G-d requires of each of us in this world. Life is more than surviving it is how we enter each day and how we live those days. In our world, in fact also in the world of Avraham and Sarah, it is easier to just go along. It is easier to not make waves and lose ourselves in work or thinking only of our own lives.
It is far easier than really looking at what G-d requires of us. From the world’s perspective, Avraham and Sarah would have had an easier life if they had never set out on their journey. Yet they and we are called to more than this. G-d desires more from us than just going through our day. He calls us to be a change agent in our days.
When we look at our world we see spiritually where a lie is being believed as the truth. We see evil looked at as being progressive. Much of the world is faced with a much clearer choice, where evil is more easily recognized. I received an email from Garry today about a pastor he heard from Nigeria who spoke of the situation in his country. He said 85% of the Christians of his church had been killed by Boko Haram, a muslim group, under the guise of faith. Christians are slaughtered for being who they are, not for anything they have done. Yet, western countries pay little or no attention because it does not affect them directly and also to be politically correct. We see in Antwerp today a Rabbi was stabbed in the throat and almost killed not because of anything he had done but because of being. Israel is under constant threat, not because of threatening to destroy their neighbors but because of being. We see the world calling for sanctions and other measures against Israel while ignoring the constant drum beat of threats from her neighbors. Middle East Thought: If only Israel were not there, life would be bliss.
Abraham and Sarah believed G-d rather than the world. When G-d promised him the land and descendents, Avraham did not sit idly by waiting for it to happen. He joined with G-d. He bought property for his wife’s tomb. He arranged that his son would marry a woman that would be a partner in the on going plan of G-d. Avraham did not see the final fulfillment of G-d’s promises but he lived as if he had. In fact through faith he lived as though they were completed. He entered each day doing whatever he could to see G-d’s promise fulfilled. So must we. We cannot let ourselves be swept along by anything except what G-d says. Hebrews 11:8-19 What can we do each day?
One way Avraham worked with G-d was sending His servant to look for a wife for his son. The servant was a man who believed in the G-d of his master and asked for guidance from G-d in finding the right person. He succeeded and she became the wife of Isaac and the promise continued on.