Torah Parashat Chayei Sarah
Torah: Bereshis 23:1-25:18
Haftarah: Melakim Aleph (1Kings) 1:1-1:31
Ketuvim Netzarim: 2 Cor. 4:17-5:2; Heb. 11:11-13
Q: How is our relationship to this world described within our Torah portion?
A: We are strangers & sojourners Ber. 23:4; 1st Ch. 29:15; Heb. 11:13
So often I’ve caught myself concerning over purchase of houses and lands, when I realize my thinking is based on looking down, and not ‘up’ where it should be. You see, our father Abraham understood this very well. As he explained to the sons of Heth, “I am a stranger and a sojourner with you…” Ber. 23:4 His only interest in purchasing land, was to provide a burial place for “…his dead…”, so that they could be buried “…out of my sight.” True, Abraham as were all the Patriarchs, were nomads. One might argue that Y’shua (having not a pillow on which to lay his head), was the greatest nomad of all time! What is it about our society today that causes us to look down upon that particular lifestyle as being one of the ‘shiftless’, one who may be ‘socially unacceptable’, or possibly ‘derelict’ in some way and not to be trusted?
“For we are sojourners and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without permanence. 1st Chronicles 29:15
“In belief all these died, not having received the promises, but seeing them from a distance, welcomed and embraced them, and confessed that they were aliens and strangers on the earth.” Heb. 11:13
Q: How does living by ’emunah’, faith; relate to worldly cultures and values.
A: It doesn’t. Living by emunah is always at odds with worldly cultures and values.
Q: What was the blessing received through the emunah of Sarah?
A: Because by belief (faith/emunah) “…Sarah herself was enabled to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the normal age, because she deemed Him trustworthy who had promised.” Heb. 11:11
Because of this trusting emunah, the book of Hebrews goes on to explain to us in 11:12
“And so from one, and him as good as dead, were born as numerous as the stars of the heaven, as countless as the sand which is by the seashore.”
Here again, we see the covenant promise of the multiplicity of the seed of Abraham that will go out into all the world, “count them if you can” Abraham! Bereshis 15:5.
Q. Comment on 2 Cor. 4: 17-5:2
A. This is our hope! If we could but grasp this concept of “not looking at the things which are seen because they are temporal” but rather the “things which are not seen, which are eternal.” our journey would be so much easier, with the goal always in view.
Q. How does Torah regard aging?
A. Torah regards aging as a process of construction, of building up toward the goal of perfection – not decay. Of course, this is just the opposite of secular teaching.
I pray that you will have been blessed by your Torah study this week. Join us next week for ‘Tol’dot’ – Generations as found in Bereshis (Gen.) 25:19-28:9, as we walk up to Y’rushalyim, up to the house of YHVH Elohenu! Baruch HaShem YHVH Y’shuati!