Torah Portion: Hayei Sarah (Sarah’s life) B’Resheet (Gen.) 23:1-25:18
HafTorah: I Kings 1:1-31
Today, in this Torah section we read of the death of both Avraham and Sarah. Yet the name of the portion is, “Life of Sarah.” What do we learn from this? Death comes to us all but it is only a door to the world to come. What is really of importance is how we live – what defines our lives? How are our days spent? In this section of Torah we get a hint of how both of these people lived. Of Sarah we read these were the years of Sarah’s life in verse one. Back in Genesis 18:11 we read of both Sarah and Avraham, “entered their days.” This phrase is translated in English as advanced in years. Think of it as entering your home. A better translation would be, they connected with each moment and held it close. As we would ay today they were totally “there.” Wherever and with whom ever, they were in the moment. They had many hardships in their life but they, in the midst of it all held on to G-d and His promises. They were not “under the circumstances,” but were able to rise above everything life brought to them. They fully entered each day.
So, what does this say to us? Sometime we are so busy making a living that we forget to live, so busy doing that we forget about being. I pray for myself and for each of you that we welcome each moment as Heaven knocking on our door. Don’t become a rat in the race but please allow G-d to bring you into what He has everyday, every minute.
Now to the first question: in Genesis 24:12 we read of Abraham’s servant praying about the tasks before him. We see him invoking the name of Abraham when he prays to G-d. He asked for chesed (loving kindness) toward Abraham. In effect he is reminding G-d of His covenant with Abraham. He prayed in Abraham’s name. We as Christians usually end our prayers with, “In the name of Yeshua.” John 16:24 What does it really mean, or is it just something we do? When we pray in the name of Yeshua it is as if we are reminding G-d that we are part of Yeshua and we come to Him not on our own merit but on His merit. It is as if we are saying as the servant said, “L-rd, the G-d of my Master Yeshua, please grant me success today and show chesed to my Master Yeshua.” It is more than just a way to end a prayer. It reminds us and reminds G-d of who we are.
Now, why did Abraham not want Isaac to marry a local girl? What happens when you marry? You get more than a wife, you get her family too. Your destiny is wrapped up in her and her family. Abraham knew that the time would come when his descendents would displace the Canaanites in Israel. This would be very difficult if not impossible if they were relatives. Abraham took this step to protect his descendants from an entanglement that would have serious consequences in the future. So, he sends his servant back to his own family to find a bride for Isaac.
Lastly, in Genesis 24 we read about the mission of Abraham’s servant. What is interesting is that his name is never mentioned. Why is that and what does it teach us? As we read this chapter we see over and over the servant drawing everything back to his master. He has a mission that he has been sent on and his sole purpose is to be faithful to that mission and bring honor to his master. I would hope we are able to grasp this in our lives. It isn’t about us and how good we may look or what the reward is really. What it is about is Him who loves us. In the New Testament John the Baptist says in John 3:30 that he must decrease so that Yeshua would increase. Like the servant, his concern was His master and fulfilling his task. So it must be with each of us. Well done good and faithful servant. Matt. 25:23