PARASHAH: “Chayei Sarah” (Sarah lives)
GENESIS 23:1-25:18..................1 KINGS 1:1-31...................MATT 8:1-9:38
The title of the Parashah is “Sarah lives” or “Sarah lived”. Yet Sarah is dead, so, how does she live? She lives on in the memory of Abraham, her legacy lives on, her influence lives on, and this is what the patriarch wants for Isaac.
I remember some of the words of Marine Gunnery sergeant Hartman to his trainees in the movie “Full Metal Jacket” “Most of you will go to Viet Nam, some of you will not return alive, but even dead, you will still live, you will live on in the spirit of the corps.”
So even dead, Sarah continued to live on as a godly wife and mother, no doubt that Abraham wanted to bless Isaac with a similar wife. Torah says that Sarah lived 127 years. It is not often that the Torah records the age of women, but Sarah is the exception. We can see some symbolism in that number. I guess there are several ways we can look at it, one way is to see the Hebrew letters associated with numbers, 100 is Qoph (Q) 20 is Kaph (K) and 7 is Zayin (Z) Seven is the number of YHVH, the perfect number. According to some rabbis, “120” years are a “full life”. So, Sarah lived a “full life” plus 7 more.
Another way we can look at this is, from the Hebrew text; “One-hundred years, and seven years, and twenty years. Why is this worded this way? The rabbis say that when Sarah was one-hundred years old, she was as beautiful as when she was twenty, and when she was twenty, she was as innocent and holy as when she was seven.
Moshe lived a “full life” and maybe would have lived longer had he not “struck the rock” Sarah lived a “Kadosh” life (Holy life, separated to serve God, her husband Abraham and raise her son Isaac. One could say she was “anointed to serve” (Kaph) is a letter the symbolizes “anointing”. Zayin (z) is the letter that symbolizes “weapon” anointing and holiness are a “weapon” one can use against “HaSatan” our spiritual enemy can be defeated by the fruit of the Spirit, through the Ruach Ha Kodesh.
127 can also symbolize “Echad” (unit of oneness) (1), “covenant blessing” (2) “godliness” (7) Sarah received the blessing of being a godly woman, who joined in the “covenant blessing” of Abraham with YHVH, and together became “Echad Am” (One people) the Hebrew people who later became the Nation of Israel. When we add 1+2+7 we get 10, which is the number of “Torah” (some say “law” personally, I don't like using that word, it is misunderstood) but “Torah” means “instruction” Sarah honored Abraham, and YHVH by submitting to their instruction, she was submissive, in the right way. Yet Sarah had her times of happiness and sorrow as All marriages go through.
Abraham and Sarah loved each other, and in death, Abraham showed his love towards Sarah by purchasing an overpriced piece of real estate. 400 silver shekels was a lot for a cave on a piece of property in Hebron, but He didn't mind paying for it, (guess it is like buying a hamburger for $25) It had to be “written down, and documented” legally, not just “words”, we see that today, words are nothing, but if it is signed, sealed, written down, you can take it to court!
So Abraham honored his wife both in life and in death. One of the biggest and drastic changes in one’s life is the “death” of a spouse. We see the words in the Torah which recount the time of Sarah’s death. “and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke unto the sons of Heth saying…”
There is a time for mourning and weeping, and a time for joy, a time for continuing with life, as life does go on, with or without a spouse. Abraham had the right to mourn and weep, since Sarah was part of his life for many, many years. We do not know when they got married, but when Abraham was called by Adonai, he was 75 years old, and he was married at that time. We could say that for about 50 years, Abraham had Sarah by his side. The Adonai called her home.
There will be a time when Adonai calls home our spouses, how will we respond when that happens? Will we cry out to God; Why? But are our spouses our own? Or do we all belong to Elohim? What are we but souls inhabiting finite bodies which will eventually cease to function and return to the earth.
A baby enters the world with clenched fists, yet leaves the world with open hands. We all want to hold on to everything, even spouses, yet we have to let go and let God have his way. A spouse, a wife or husband, is like a library book. We will take the library book and read it cover to cover, do we understand what we read? We have “x” amount of years to do it. But the master Librarian will call for his book to be returned someday, and we will have to deal with that.
A spouse is like a jewel to be worn and cared for, for “x” number of years, but the Jeweler will call for his gem someday, and we will have to take “her” or “him” off and return “her” or “him” to Jeweler of all creation. I think that the more we love our spouse, the more difficult it will be for us to let go someday when our spouse is at death’s door. It wasn’t easy for Abraham, and it will not be easy for us.
I think that the time for caring, for loving, for giving flowers is now that our spouses are alive, not at the grave site. One wonders what the surviving spouse will say? “May he (or she) rest in peace!” …or…” Now that he (or she) is gone, I can rest in peace!!” Abraham wept and mourned, but then, he got up and “buried his dead out of his sight” He continued with life, searched out a wife for his son Isaac, and eventually Abraham got remarried, to Keturah who bore him six children (Chap 25).
There is life after the departing of a loved one. The most difficult part of losing a loved one, especially a spouse, is if the spouse is an unbeliever, lost, without salvation. THEN we shall never see that spouse again, EVER! All the more reason to be “equally yoked” To lose a spouse in death is to be separated for “a season” but be reunited with her (or him) later on in heaven. That is the way we have to look at it, because it is the truth.
Some people, like Abraham, will marry again, others will not. That is a decision every widow or widower will have to make. Me? I wouldn’t like living alone without someone by my side, but that’s me. Love is having to “let go” when our Master calls for “going home” it WILL come.
The true meaning of the word “love” is NOT feelings. What is “Love at first sight?” (Hey, I like your moves, I like your legs, your hair, your eyes, your build, etc.). yet feelings, emotions can lead two people to enter into a covenant of “love”, “love” is the action of “giving” the Hebrew word is “Ahavah” it has the verb “hav” which is “to give” and the word “av” is in there, being “Our Heavenly father gives” He proved his love toward us that He GAVE His Only Son, Yeshua, as a sacrifice for our sin. When a couple chose to marry, share life together, provide one for another, in health and in sickness, and not “cop out” on each other, THAT is TRUE LOVE. The words, “I feel I don't love you anymore” are silly, worthless words.
Imagine if Sarah had told that to Abram. Or if Abram would have said that to Sarah, “I don't love you anymore, because you can't give me children” and the two separated, where would the Nation of Israel be today? It would be nonexistent. Yet they kept by each other’s side in good times and in the bad times, the times of drought, the “Egypt” times, the “Ishmael” times, and the long waited “Isaac” times.
Abraham sent his servant Elazar to look for a wife for Isaac. (I wish that custom was still here with us, parents getting their children husbands and wives, those were the 'good ol days') (my opinion). He carried 10 camels with gifts, the “bride price” for the “bride to be”. He had to go to Mesopotamia, to Abraham's family, He did NOT want a Canaanite woman for the bride of Isaac, a pagan Canaanite woman would have been an “unequal yoke” that is wisdom for us today, a “born again believer” should only marry another “born again believer” where the two worship and serve the “same God YHVH/Yeshua”
Elazar observed “Rebecca's actions” Rivka watered the thirsty camels, sought not her own comfort, but had a servant's heart. This is what Elazar was looking for, Abraham would be happy, and so would Isaac. The “engagement jewelry” was a nose ring and gold bracelets” today in our society we give an engagement ring.
Abraham wanted a wife like Sarah for his son Isaac. We might think, what kind of wife (or husband) would one believer look for? Well, there are certain qualities to look for in looking for one’s “life mate”.
If a man is looking for a woman to be his wife. I would think that he might want a woman whose first love is for God, for Yeshua, and to obey and follow the Torah. That the woman also be humble, who will run the home with wisdom, and with money in her hands, will be spent wisely. She should be a woman who will raise her children according to the Word of God, and to not waste time with “fairy tale reading” but with “Torah Tale reading” if she is to read “Bed-time stories. I have not mentioned the “physical” characteristics, since “how beautiful or not” is not of prime importance, but yes, is a bit important since men are usually in search of “what attracts the eye”
Just as “Riv’kah” was willing to follow Elazar to Isaac’s home, so should the wife be willing to follow her husband. Where he is, she should be as well. UNLESS, there is some sort of danger or unwise decision making on the husband’s part, then, the wife needs to help the husband “re-think” the decision.
There is a story about Adam and Eve. Adam was sad because there was no mate for him among all the animals, so Adonai said to Adam; “I will give you a mate, one who will never say no, one who will care for you and for your house, never argue with you nor ever say unkind words to you, one who will raise all your children, one who will cook for you and be your perfect servant and your lover any time you want.” Adam was happy, and he said; “and what will all that cost me?” God said to Adam; “It will cost you an arm and a leg!” So, Adam thought for a moment, then asked; “What can I get for just a rib?” (well, you know the rest of the story, but it works both ways)
Now “Rivka” had to be “willing to go with Elazar to be Isaac's wife”. We can see this is our relationship with Yeshua. Yeshua/Jesus is the “bridegroom” and we, the “Kehillah” (Congregation of “called out ones”) are the bride. We have to be a “willing bride” to go with our “heavenly bridegroom”.
Just as Elazar brought gifts to the bride-to-be, Yeshua has given “gifts” to us as HIS Bride; Salvation (Yeshuah) an eternal home/mansion in Heaven, spiritual gifts to do service and minister with. Healthy bodies (for the most part) in which to inhabit, spouses and children, jobs to earn a living, if we think about the list could go on, as to the “Blessings” we have through Yeshua.
1 KINGS 1:1-31
This tells the sad story of a father who failed to discipline his sons, and old king David reaped the whirlwind, Adonijah (which means YHVH is my master) if it were so, He would have been in subjection to his father David, had the nerve to proclaim himself king, even before David dies. Yet David corrects the situation and names Solomon as the future king. This part of the Parashah teaches us to be under authority, willingly, the bridegroom has his bride under His authority and subjection, BUT NOT in a tyrannical way, not like a “dictatorship” but under a “love “relationship. A wife can be under subjection to the husband, and feel used, like an object, or feel loved and protected, all depends on the husband, if He is under the subjection to the LORD, he will treat his wife with love and respect.
We see here that Yeshua shows love through action, in healing the leper, it is an act of “giving” He gave back health to an unclean man, yet Yeshua also respected and honored the Torah, in telling the man to go to the priest and offer the proper sacrifice for his healing, Yeshua, who is our Messiah, Savior and LORD had ALL RESPECT for the Torah and its commandments.
Another thing we must note is that there are two types of “Tza-arat” (Leprosy) physical and spiritual. One thing is being healed physically, on the outside, another is being healed on the inside. We can be healthy outside, but corrupt on the inside, or, unhealthy physically, yet Holiness resides inwardly. We need that balance, of being “tahor” (clean) both inwardly and outwardly.
We must also remember though, the situation with Lot from last Parashah, how is was, and is considered as “Righteous Lot” yet was affected by living in Sodom, he had to be almost, “dragged out” by the two angels. His inner being was being affected by living around the wicked. His wife was “sold out” to Sodom and became “well salted” in the end, his daughters committed indecency with him and led to the origins of Moab and Ammon. Take care least we be “Tza-arat” inwardly.
The rest of these two chapters have to do with Yeshua healing the paralytic, a Roman officer tells Yeshua about his sick servant. He heals many, and all who come to Him. As Yeshua healed those with physical ailments, we should also be concerned with our spiritual ailments. Through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, we all have access to be healed by the power of G-d. If we want it, and are willing to receive it, we will get it. Our physical bodies will wear away, grow old and finally, cease to function, yet our Spirit being is what lives on forever. But WHERE? That is the choice which every person will have to make.
Salvation or perdition, The choice is within our grasp. If “Yeshuah” (salvation) is our choice, our “corruptible” will be transformed into “incorruptible” when we are transformed to live with Adonai forever, the same with perdition, all who choose to reject Yeshua, will remain in their corruptible essence forever, enduring the fires of the wrath of G-d’s divine judgment. So, make the right choice, choose Yeshua, chose “Yeshuah” (salvation) from 1 Cor 15:50-57
Rabbi Ben Avraham
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