Parashat Chayei Sarah // “Sarah’s Lifetime”

- מ י כ -

How can we reach ultimate satisfaction?

Sarah’s earthly torments are over and she is now ready for spiritual grace

“And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same isHebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her…” Genesis 23:1 – 2

  • The Torah emphasizes Sarah’s age and the fact that her death comes as a result of her old age. Rashi explains that “all [her years] were equally good.” This assertion is surprising considering the many tests, hardships, and suffering that Sarah had withstood – including her travels from Canaan to Egypt, her captivity in the houses of Pharaoh and Avimelech, her inability to bear children, her rivalry with Hagar, the birth of Ishmael, and more. 
  • Rashi doesn’t mean that Sarah’s years were all pleasant, but rather that they were all productive. Sarah welcomes both good and bad circumstances “equally.” She is destined to give birth to the son from whose offspring the people of Israel will descend. The traits helping her to reach the highest level are devotion and perseverance. She becomes stronger with every test she faces – and she always keeps going. 

Rebecca takes care of Abraham’s servant and becomes Isaac’s wife

“That, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah…and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking” Genesis 23:18 – 19

  • Eliezer, one of Abraham’s servants, sets out to find a righteous wife, for “all that comes into contact with the impure, becomes impure, and all that comes into contact with the pure, becomes pure” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate of Kelim 12:2). In other words, Eliezer is tasked with finding a woman whose righteousness will be carried on to her son. Rebecca teaches us the meaning of chesed (grace, lovingkindness, generosity). She not only offers water to Abraham’s servant, but also his camels. She expects nothing in return and sets no conditions. From this we learn that abundance and grace can “flow” through us only when our hearts are opened wide.

Pearls of Divine Wisdom: “Sarah’s Lifetime” 

  • The challenges and obstacles we encounter on our life’s path are our true destiny – much more than our tangible accomplishments. We derive pleasure from pursuing our hidden, inner purpose and from the unique contributions we bring to the world. The greatest blessings come concealed within the distress of being tested – which is why we must greet adversity with open arms and gratitude.
  • Great blessings are directed at each of us. We must heighten our awareness so that we can see all the signs pointing us to them – in the same way that Abraham discovers the cave while looking for a stray calf. If we free our consciousness from ego-based desires and  goals – those that are alien to our soul’s essence – we can discover and receive the true treasures that are meant for us.
  • In the material world, we experience only about 1% of reality. However, through our spiritual work, we can strive to reveal the other 99% – the entirety of the Creator’s concealed light which awaits us. We can only realize our true potential once we transcend our small, materialistic, and egotistic visions.
  • We can only enjoy the inflow of chesed (grace, generosity, lovingkindness) if we open our hearts. Generosity is contagious. Pure beings are attracted to one another and prompted to mutually share their light.

Dedication is the experience of an ongoing, burning desire for love and light.