latest Post

Two Minutes of Torah: Chayeih Sarah - Making our Peace

When people deal with a difficult event or something traumatic in their lives we on the outside often feel that there should be a timetable for when they're ready to get back into their normal routine.  A point when they should be able to put the thing behind them.  But, we know that really there is no set timetable for dealing with difficult events in our lives.  

While Judaism does lay down a schedule for mourning we know that some people need longer.  Some people need less time because we all mourn in our own ways, and we all come to terms with things on different schedules.

In this week's Torah portion we see just how long it takes for Isaac to come to terms with a few traumatic events in his life.  Last week, when we left off, Abraham had almost sacrificed his son Isaac on top of Mount Moriah, and this week we begin with the death of Sarah; as we read of his mother's death, Isaac is conspicuous by his absence.  

We might imagine that Isaac would be there to help with the burial of his mother and yet as we read the account of Sarah's death and then her burial we see that Abraham was very much alone.  In many ways the text emphasizes his loneliness and solitude amidst the Hittites.  As Abraham negotiates for the Cave of Machpelah, to have a place to bury his wife, Isaac is absent, still coming to terms with the events that have taken place. 

And then, after the burial, as Abraham prepares to find a wife for his son, Isaac is still absent.  Rather than speaking to his son and telling him that it is time for him to take a wife himself, Abraham sends his servant Eliezer to find his son a wife.  It is Eliezer who journeys back to the land of Abraham's birth to find Rebecca rather.  And it is only once Rebecca is with Eliezer that we finally read about Isaac again.

As Eliezer brings Rebecca back to meet his master we read that Isaac had just come back from the vicinity of Beerlecharoi, for he was settled in the region of the Negev, and it is then that Isaac sees Rebecca.  As we read in the text  "Isaac then brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he took Rebecca as his wife, Isaac loved her and found comfort after his mother's death".  Only with Rebecca by his side was he able to find comfort in the aftermath of his mother's death.  It took that amount of time and that event for him to make his peace with the fact that his mother had died.  

And then in making his peace with his mother's death he appears able to make peace with his father.  Although we do not read of the reconciliation between Isaac and Abraham we do read that Abraham died and his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the Cave of Machpelah.  In this way we can read into the text that Isaac made his peace with his father and with his brother.  And for us reading the text perhaps Isaac and Ishmael making peace with one another can serve as a model for their children today to find a way to make peace.  

About Rabbi Danny

Rabbi Danny
Recommended Posts × +


Post a Comment