Ahuzah: Settling Down

Ahuzah: Settling Down

Oct 23, 2013 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Hayyei Sarah

At the opening of this week’s parashah, Abraham is occupied with arrangements for the burial of his beloved wife, Sarah.

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To Speak Is To…

To Speak Is To…

Nov 19, 2011 By Samuel Barth | Commentary | Hayyei Sarah

After the many narratives that explore deeply the life of Abraham and his family, we find in this portion an interlude in which the focus is upon Abraham’s elder servant—not named in our text, but often assumed to be Eliezer (mentioned in Gen. 15:2). Eliezer has been charged by Abraham to find a wife for Isaac—not from the local (Canaanite) population, but from Aram, the place of Abraham’s birth.

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From Suspense to Sensitivity

From Suspense to Sensitivity

Nov 7, 2012 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Hayyei Sarah

Immediately after the drama of the binding of Isaac, we read Parashat Hayyei Sarah. Why the juxtaposition of these two parashiyot?

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Biblical Negotiations

Biblical Negotiations

Oct 18, 2006 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Hayyei Sarah

This week’s Torah reading opens with the death of our matriarch, Sarah, and Abraham’s subsequent acquisition of a burial place for his deceased wife.

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Our Aging Bodies

Our Aging Bodies

Nov 18, 2011 By Abigail Treu | Commentary | Text Study | Hayyei Sarah

If the rabbis could imagine Abraham’s dismay at the physical signs of aging, how much more so for us, men and women, living in a culture in which we are constantly bombarded with visual images of young, vigorous bodies?

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The Power of Words

The Power of Words

Nov 7, 2012 By Marc Wolf | Commentary | Hayyei Sarah

Where Sarah and Ishmael seem to fade from the scene, Abraham actively prepares for his death. The details of the burial of Sarah and finding a wife for Isaac that occupy the parashah rest in stark contrast to the death narratives of both Abraham’s wife and firstborn son.

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Life: Quantity Vs. Quality

Life: Quantity Vs. Quality

Oct 23, 2013 By Eliezer B. Diamond | Commentary | Hayyei Sarah

“And the span of Sarah’s life was 127 years—the years of Sarah’s life” (Gen. 23:1; my translation). Whenever I read this verse, I feel a deep sadness that is only intensified by the story that follows. Let me explain.

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Abraham’s Search: A Hallmark of Human Grief

Abraham’s Search: A Hallmark of Human Grief

Nov 14, 2014 By Allison Kestenbaum | Commentary | Hayyei Sarah

In an oft-told Buddhist story, a woman loses her son and is inconsolable. She approaches the Buddha and begs him to bring her son back. He instructs her to go around the village from house to house, seeking a single mustard seed from any home where no one has died. If she can find such a mustard seed, he will restore her son to life. So the woman knocks on each door and finds that there is no household that has not experienced loss. She returns without the mustard seed but with an enlarged awareness of the universality of loss that leads her to a path of compassion and peace.

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