Shabbat Shalom Weekly: Chayei Sarah 5760
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Chayei Sarah(Genesis 23:1-25:18)

Chayei Sarah 5760

GOOD MORNING!  A person is about as happy as he sets his mind to be. He can suffer the slings and arrows that life throws at him -- or he can focus on his goals and values and take pleasure in his efforts and accomplishments. Here's a beautiful "refrigerator piece" (the kind that you put on your fridge with a magnet) that will hopefully help you keep on track. There is always a reason not to do something; there is always a reason why you should do it.


ANYWAY

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered
LOVE THEM ANYWAY

If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives
DO GOOD ANYWAY

If you are successful, you can win false friends and true enemies
SUCCEED ANYWAY

Honesty and frankness sometimes make you vulnerable
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow
DO GOOD ANYWAY

The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest minds
THINK BIG ANYWAY

People favor underdogs but usually follow top dogs
FIGHT FOR SOME UNDERDOGS ANYWAY

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight
BUILD ANYWAY

Give the world the best you have and you could get kicked in the teeth
GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU'VE GOT ANYWAY!


Torah Portion of the Week
Chayei Sarah

Sarah dies at the age of 127. Avraham purchases a burial place for her in Hebron in the cave of Ma'arat HaMachpela. Avraham sends his servant, Eliezer, back to the "old country," his birthplace Charan, to find a wife for Yitzhak (Isaac). Eliezer makes what appear to be very strange conditions for the matrimonial candidate to fulfill in order to qualify for Yitzhak. Rivka (Rebecca) unknowingly meets the conditions. Eliezer succeeds in getting familial approval, though they were not too keen about Rivka leaving her native land.

Avraham marries Keturah and fathers six more sons. He sends them east (with the secrets of mysticism) before he dies at 175. Yitzhak and Ishmael bury Avraham in the Ma'arat HaMachpela near Sarah. The portion ends with the listing of Ishmael's 12 sons and Ishmael dying at age 137.

 

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Eliezer arrives in Charan. Rivka gives him water to drink. The Torah states, "And she finished giving him to drink. And she said, 'Also for your camels I will draw water until they finish drinking' (Genesis 24:19). Why does the Torah specify that she will draw water rather than writing "I will give the camels to drink"?

The great Spanish Rabbi, the Abarbanel, tells us that Rivkah was meticulously careful not to say anything that would be untrue. Therefore, she said she would draw water, as if to say, "I don't know for sure if they will drink or not, but I will draw water for them. If they want to, they can drink."

Rabbi Shmuel Walkin adds that we see here how careful we should be to keep away from saying anything untrue. He cites as an example Rabbi Refael of Bershid who was always very careful to refrain from saying anything that was untrue. One day he entered his home while it was raining outside. When asked if it was still raining, he replied, "When I was outside it was raining." He did not want to mislead in case it had stopped raining from the time he entered his home.

This may seem to be ridiculous or inconsequential. However, if a person is careful with keeping to the truth in such instances, he will definitely be careful in more important matters. On the other hand, if a person is careless with the truth, he can even be tempted to lie in major ways!

Published: January 17, 2000

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