The Akeda Foundation
"We are our brothers and sisters keepers".
Chevre Letter: “ Chayye Sarah” (Segment : ‘The life of Sarah’) ( Gen.XXIII-XXV, 18)
Haftorah: (1 Kings 1- 1-31).
Candle Lighting: 4:12 pm.
November 11, 2017
Specials: Veteran’s Day November 11, 2017
This week’s Parsha, Segment, Chayye Sarah, is unique because it is the only Parsha named after a woman who happens to be the first matriarch of the Jewish People.
While it’s called the “Life of Sarah”, it’s really about her death and the establishment of family gravesites such as “The Cave of the Machpelah” where Abraham buries his family.
It is ironic and no accident that this Parsha, which is a salute to women is a reflection of my Mom’s matriarchal soul, Dad’s patriarchal soul and their gentility, kindness and compassion. They were the embodiment of Abraham and Sarah and their unconditional love for each other and faith in G-d made them special to all who came in contact with them. My sister Judy and I were lucky to have them as our beloved parent’s z’l.
This is hardly ‘Mar Cheshvan’ (‘Bitter Cheshvan’). My Bar Mitzvah and birthday as well as my brother in law Chuck Karp fall in the month of Cheshvan, and is certainly ‘not’ bitter, but rather the start of a journey, that is still in progress both as a lawyer and a Rabbi. In my opinion the month is bitter only if one views it that way. I prefer to look at the positive side of life.
Out Sages try as they may, would be hard pressed not to recognize, there is much to celebrate. In fact, if the issue of ‘no Jewish Holiday’s’ in Cheshvan, is the issue, there would have to be the recognition that ‘The Sabbath Queen/ Sabbath bride’ trumps the field weekly. There are life cycle events such as; Bar/Bas Mitzvoth, weddings, baby namings, and the Bris for males (circumcision’s ceremonies) to name a few.
So when I have private moments to remember those folks who have passed on, I can look back on Chayye Sarah and remember the legacy of the funeral traditions and familial reconciliations. Culturally blended households started with Abraham and Sarah through her hand maidens Hagar and Keturah.
Likewise, the tradition regardless of faith of marrying within one’s faith is based on Abraham’s instructions to his trusted servant, Eliezer, in finding a wife for Isaac.
We learn that acceptance is not often easy, but it is always workable. Their boys never for a second thought of abandoning their parents, Abraham and Sarah, even though there is a dispute between the hand maidens and Sarah over the birth of children fathered by Abraham.
In modern Parlance, this was a dysfunctional family, whose ratings would have gone through the roof on ‘Dr. Phil’s program. And even in death, we are taught differences, even if temporary must disappear for the sake unity.
Speaking for myself, although probably not alone, there has either been a personal experience or had friends and family, who have experienced what Abraham and his family went through. Interestingly though not surprising, once Isaac had his bride, there was parental comfort and approval, prior to their passing. G-d has his/her plan. It was Abraham’s ‘AKEDA’ with G-d that allowed him to see Isaac step up and fill the role of the second Patriarch.
The last Patriarch is Jacob, who we will learn had a touch of sociopathic personality, with the incredible ability to manipulate and deceive to accomplish his goals, with the help of his mother, Rebekah.
Stay tuned for an entertaining D’rosh on deception in the Bible. Next week we begin another Parsha- Toldoth- The generations of Isaac.
Shabbat Shalom/ A Peaceful Sabbath/ Shavuah Tov-A Good Week/ Reb ‘Z /R’Z/STU