CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS CHA'YEI SOROH 5767 - BS"D
1) Ch. 23, v. 2: "B'Kiryas Arba" - In Kiryas Arba - What is the source of
2) Ch. 23, v. 2: "Lispod l'Soroh v'livkosoh" - To eulogize Soroh and to cry
over her - Rashi explains the juxtaposition of the death of Soroh to the
earlier chapter of the Akeidoh. Soroh was apprised of Yitzchok's being brought as a
sacrifice and upon hearing this her soul left her. Rashi's words are,
"v'chim'at shelo nish'chat." Literally these words should be translated as, "and
almost that he wasn't slaughtered." This is the opposite of what took place, as
Yitzchok was almost slaughtered, not almost NOT slaughtered.
3) Ch. 23, v. 3: "Va'yovo Avrohom" - And Avrohom came - The verse does not
say that Yitzchok also came. Did he attend his mother's funeral?
4) Ch. 23, v. 16: "Va'yishkol Avrohom l'Efron ...... arba mei'ose shekel
kesef" - Where else, in relation to stinginess, greediness, or jealousy, do we
find the number 400 in Tanach?
5) Ch. 24, v. 19: "Vatchal l'hashkoso vatomer gam ligma'lecho eshov" - Why
did Rivkoh give Eliezer water to drink before giving the camels? Isn't there a
rule that one must feed animals before feeding humans?
1) Four giants, Achimon, Sheishay, Talmay, and their father, lived there.
2) Four couples would eventually be buried there in the M'oras Hamachpeiloh,
Odom-Chavoh, Avrohom-Soroh, Yitzchok-Rivkoh, and Yaakov-Leah. (Rashi)
3) The person who founded the community was named Arba. (Rabbi Avrohom ben
4) The first king who ruled over the community was named Arba. (Rabbi
Avrohom ben hoRambam)
5) Whoever is buried there will have his soul joined in the upper spheres
with four camps of Hashem's Holy Spirit. (Toldos Yitzchok)
6) There were four Jewish owners of the community, the tribe of Yehudoh,
Ko'leiv, the Kohanim, the Leviim. (Chizkuni)
7) Avrohom came from there. About him the verse says, "Mi ho'ir mimizrach
tzedek" (Yeshayohu 41:2). "Mizrach" refers to the sun lighting up the world as
it appears from the east. The celestial bodies were put into place on the
fourth day of creation. (Medrash Hagodol)
8) There were four things that took place when Soroh died; she heard
negative news about her son Yitzchok, she cried bitterly over her son's fate, she
herself died, and there was no complete simchoh in her family from that point on.
Explanations 2, 6, and 8 encompass future happenings, thus the name Kiryas
Arba in our verse is used "al sheim ho'osid."
Reasons 3 and 4 offered by Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam are disputed by Minchoh
V'luloh. He cites the verse "Kiryas HO'Arba," (Breishis 35:27. The definitive
letter Hei cannot be used with a name.
1) The Trumas Ha'deshen in Biu'rei Mahara"i explains Rashi's words as
follows: A news-bearer came to tell Soroh that Yitzchok was brought to be
slaughtered. He was about to add the words, "and he wasn't slaughtered," but before he
got these words out of his mouth Soroh had already passed on. Rashi is saying
"v'chim'at," and it was but a moment until she would be told "shelo nish'chat."
2) Mei'siach Ilmim says that Rashi really means "v'chim'at shenish'chat,"
but Rashi didn't want to write such a negative concept, so he added the word
"lo," but in reality meant the opposite.
3) The Riv"o says that the correct text in Rashi is "v'chim'at lo nish'chat"
(he removes the letter Shin from "shelo"). The meaning is that it was but by
a hair's breadth that he wasn't slaughtered, as Avrohom was poised to
1) Yitzchok was not told that his mother died since she upon being told that
Yitzchok was offered as a sacrifice. (Rabbeinu
2) Yitzchok stayed on at Har Hamorioh as indicated by the words "va'yoshov
Avrohom el n'orov" (Breishis 20:19), and not "va'yoshuvu." He was not aware
that his mother died. He stayed there for three years, waiting until the age of
40 years to marry. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
3) Yitzchok was advised that his mother died but he did not attend her
funeral because he went to the Yeshivoh of Shem to learn Torah. One is not to take
off time from learning Torah even to be involved in burying someone, provided
that it is tended to by others. (Rabbeinu Yehudoh Chalavoh)
The Kli Yokor says that we find the number 400 connected to stinginess and
jealousy in four places.
1) When the brothers of Yoseif were jealous of Yoseif's receiving special
treatment from their father. This brought about an exile that lasted 400 years.
2) When Eisov was jealous that Yaakov received the blessings from their
father Yitzchok, he came with 400 men to accost Yaakov.
3) Novol the Karmeli was very stingy and did not accommodate Dovid's request
to send food supplies to him and his followers for Rosh Hashonoh. Dovid came
with 400 men to attack Novol.
1) When someone else feeds you it is permitted. (Admor miGur)
2) Since he was traveling there was a possibility that he was dehydrated, so
she offered him first.
3) Drinking does not have the same rule as eating. (Sefer Chasidim #531, see
Mogein Avrohom on O.Ch. 167:18)
4) The M.R. Breishis 33:1 says that we derive from the verse "Odom
u'b'heimoh toshia Hashem" (T'hilim 36:7), that in the merit of animals people have
sustenance. Therefore animals should be fed first. Since Rivkoh had the water
miraculously rise from the well this was surely in her merit. She could therefore
offer it to a person first. (P'ninim Y'korim)
5) When a person is suffering discomfort for lack of food or drink, he may
eat and drink first. (Torah T'mimoh 24:14:18, based on Ram"a Evven Ho'ezer
5:14; also Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh d.h. "vatchal")
6) When one fulfills the mitzvoh of receiving guests he may give priority to
7) The rule only applies to food which is uniquely for animals. Note that
the verse from which we derive that animals are served first mentions giving
grass of the field to your animals. Water is for human consumption as well. (Rav
8) The rule does not apply when the food is gotten in a miraculous manner.
This might explain why in Bmidbar 20:8 the Torah says that water would come
forth from the wellspring of Miriam and "You will give to drink for the
congregation and their cattle," the congregation being mentioned first.
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