by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS CHAYEI SOROH 5770 BS"D
Ch. 23, v. 1: "Mei'oh shonoh v'esrim shonoh v'sheva shonim" - One-hundred and twenty-seven years - Rashi comments that Soroh at the age of twenty had the beauty of a seven year old. This is difficult to comprehend, as a seven year old is but a very young child and a twenty year old is a fully matured adult. However, the verse is telling us that at the age of twenty, when a woman grasps that she could well be very attractive, Soroh, nevertheless had the innocence of a seven year old. In a similar vein, Soroh was free of sin at the age of twenty as she was free of sin at the age of one-hundred. This likewise requires an explanation. Although most people are far from free of sin at the age of twenty, nevertheless they have accumulated more sins by the time they are one-hundred years old. Here too, the comparison is in the nature of a one-hundred year old person. At this extremely old age one does not sin because he has no energy, nor lusts. However, Soroh did not sin at this age in the same manner she did not sin at the prime of life, at the age of twenty. This was because she followed Hashem's dictates. Similarly, this was the only driving force in her not sinning at the age of one-hundred. (Likutei Bosor Likutei)
Ch. 23, v. 2: "Va'yovo Avrohom lispode l'Soroh v'livkosoh" - And Avrohom came to eulogize Soroh and to bewail her - The word "l'Soroh" seems out of place, as mentioning Avrohom's two actions should have been mentioned first and then the person for whom they were done, "lispode v'livkos l'Soroh." The gemara Sanhedrin 46b offers two possible reasons for eulogy, for the honour of the deceased or for the benefit of those who are still alive. If we take both of these options into account we have an answer to our question. The verse in Yeshayohu 58:8 says, "V'holach l'fo'necho tzidkecho," which is the praise in a eulogy of the deceased. Mentioning his/her merits brings great satisfaction to the deceased. The gemara Shabbos 105b says that whoever cries over the death of a righteous person has his tears counted and stored in Hashem's special hiding place. Thus the eulogy, the praise aspect of Avrohom's talk was "lispode l'Soroh," for her benefit, and the "v'livkosoh" was not for Soroh, but rather for those assembled. (Eizor Eliyohu)
Ch. 23, v. 15: "Arba mei'os shekel kesef beini u'veincho mah hee" - Four-hundred silver shekel between me and between you of what significance is it - Soroh was born in the 1958th year since creation. She died at the age of 127, giving us the year 2,085 as the year of her death. The bnei Yisroel would return to their land in 2488, a spread of 403 years. Eight Yovlos occur in this time. The Torah set cost for redeeming a sanctified field that produces a "zera chomer s'orim" is 50 shkolim, and this must be done before the advent of a Yovel year. For continually sanctified ground, as was the area of the M'oras Hamachpeiloh, redemption would have been done eight times until the bnei Yisroel return and rightfully take their ownership. This is "beini," between me, i.e. the time of my descendants actually exercising ownership, and "beincho," your interim ownership, "mah hee," what is the redemption value? It is 400 shekel kesef. (Yismach Moshe)
Ch. 24, v. 1: "VaShem beirach es Avrohom bakole" - And Hashem blessed Avrohom with everything - The Kedushas Levi says that Avrohom did not live just for himself. He cared for the welfare of all mankind. A blessing that would be limited only to him and his household would be of limited or no value to Avrohom. The only was Avrohom would consider himself blessed would be if everyone was blessed along with him. Read these words as: And Hashem blessed Avrohom "along with everyone."
Ch. 24, v. 8: "Es bni lo sosheiv shomoh" - My son you should not return there - Didn't Avrohom just command him to not do this in verse 6, "Pen toshiv es bni shomoh?" What need is there for repetition? Avrohom originally said that there was no way he would agree to the marriage if Yitzchok would be required to live in the land of the perspective mechutonim. In verse 8 Avrohom absolved Eliezer of the oath, commitment, of finding Yitzchok a wife if the girl in question would refuse. Eliezer then suggested that perhaps even after a refusal, if Yitzchok would personally go there and obviously, he would make a powerful impact upon the girl, she might agree to the marriage, and they would then come to live in Avrohom's land. To this new suggestion Avrohom replied that under no circumstances was Yitzchok to go there, even if only temporarily and even if it were to bring about a successful conclusion of the marriage. (Maa'sei Hashem)
Why is there a change from "toshiv" in verse 6 to Toshuv" in verse 8, as they are both causative, "hifil" (see Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonoson ben Uziel)?
Ch. 24, v. 48: "Vaavo'reich es Hashem …… asher hinchani b'derech emes" - And I have blessed Hashem …… Who has guided me in a path of truth - The "shadchan" Eliezer had much for which top bless and give thanks. Many, many shiduchim are completed only after much maneuvering and stretching of the truth. Here, Eliezer was able to bring the match to a conclusion by only saying the untainted truth. (Luach Erez)
Ch. 24, v. 52: "Va'y'hi kaasher shoma ev'ed Avrohom es divreihem va'yishtachu artzoh laShem" - And it was when the servant of Avrohom heard their words and he bowed to the ground to Hashem - The M.R. makes this comment earlier, on verse 26, and says nothing here. Rashi does the opposite. The Mizrochi offers that perhaps we have an incorrect text of the M.R. and the comment should be placed here, where Rashi says it. This is more logical than saying that the comment of Rashi should be placed earlier, as it is only logical that thanks be given after success is realized, with her father and brother agreeing to the marriage. Earlier, in verse 26, Eliezer had very strong signs that he had found an appropriate wife for Yitzchok, but there was absolutely no guarantee that it would come to fruition.
Eizor Eliyohu offers that there is a need to point this out here more so than earlier. The stress of Rashi is that one give thanks to Hashem. This is more obvious when we see success in a miraculous manner, i.e. the waters of the well rising to Rivkoh. Rashi teaches us that even here, where her father and brother agreed to the marriage, a down to earth happening, one should likewise give thanks to Hashem.
Ch. 24, v. 53: "Va'yotzei ho'ev'ed …… uvgodim va'yitein l'Rivkoh" - And the servant brought out …… and garments and he gave to Rivkoh - How did he know beforehand the proper size of clothing to bring her? The Chidushei Hori"m answers that his intention was not to give her garments to wear, but rather, to show her an example of the type of modest clothing that was worn in the home of Avrohom.
Ch. 24, v. 57: "Va'yomru nikra lanaaroh v'nishaloh es pihoh" - And they said let us call the maiden and ask her opinion - What changed? In verse 50 both Lovon and Besuel not only agreed to the marriage, but even added that it seemed to be heavenly decreed. Rashi comments on this verse that we derive from here that we do not bring a woman to marriage without her consent. However, the M.R. has the text "we do not bring an orphan to marriage without her consent." In verse 50 Rivkoh's father was still alive and he had the right to give over his minor daughter in marriage even without her consent. Now that she was an orphan, as her father died in the middle of this incident, as evidenced by her father's being omitted in our verse, a minor orphan cannot enter marriage against her will. (Dvash V'cholov)
Ch. 25, v. 5: "Va'yi'tein Avrohom es kol asher lo l'Yitzchok - And Avrohom gave all that was his to Yitzchok - And Avrohom took KOL, which was his, "asher lo," in the blessing of "vaShem beirach es Avrohom baKOL" (24:1), and gave it to Yitzchok. This was the trait of being satisfied with his lot, as KOL means having everything that one needs. This was the greatest present that Avrohom gave Yitzchok. (Sfas Emes)
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