Chaye Soroh

Chaye Soroh

Sarah’s lifetimes was.

Rashi: “All (her years) were uniform in goodness.

During her life Sarah suffered a great deal. Until the age of ninety she was barren, she was forcefully taken to Pharaoh’s house and to Avimelech’s house. She suffered exiles and seemingly endless travels from one place to the other. If so, what is the “goodness” that Soroh experienced during her life?

The Korban Oni writes “all were uniform in goodness” means she accepted all this suffering with genuine love, and said about everything that happened to her, “this too is for the good.

“Soroh died in Kiryat Arba which is Hebron”.

Immediately after Soroh Imeinu heard about the akeidah of Yitzchok she also aspired to sacrifice herself for Hashem. She desired to reach that same spiritual height to which Avrohom Avinu, and Yitzchok, were zocheh at the akeidah. “Soroh died in Kiryat Arba”—Arba meaning four, alludes to the four letters of Hashem’s name. Soroh accepted upon herself the yoke of Heaven’s kingdom and her neshomoh departed from her after she fully devoted herself to HaKodosh Boruch Hu.

[Avodas Yisroel]

“No, my lord; heed me!”

The Midrash (Bereishis Rabba 58:7) writes on the verse, “`One who is overzealous for wealth has an evil eye; he does not know that want may befall him’ (Mishlei 28:22)—this refers to Efron who took a large sum of money and wasn’t aware that it will cause him to want.”

According to Chazal, anyone who took a perutah from Avrohom Avinu was blessed from Heaven with material abundance. Efron mistakenly thought that if he takes four hundred shekels which is much more, he would surely be blessed. The Midrash however teaches us that only someone who took a small amount, a perutah, was blessed by Hashem, but for someone who was overzealous to become wealthy the opposite would happen—“want may befall him.”

[Imrei Emes of Gur zy’a]

“And Hashem had blessed Avrohom with everything” . “Bakol”—with everything.

This means perfect love for our Creator. “Ve’ohavto es Hashem Elokecho bechol levovcho, u-vechol nafshecho’ u-vechol me’odecho” that we recite twice a day in krias Shma means “You shall love Hashem, your G-d, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources.” Avrohom Avinu possessed this type of ahavoh for Hashem. Nothing could prevent Avrohom from fulfilling His will.

[Imrei Yosef in the name of the Chozeh of Lublin]

Rebbe Yisroel of Salant would say it is human nature that “one who has a monoh wants two” (Koheles Rabba 1:34). As a result, a person constantly wants to amass more and more material possesions. Avrohom Avinu had an altogether different view of life. He felt he had already “everything” and did not aspire to amass more.

“Let it be that the maiden to whom I shall say, `Please tip over your jug so I may drink,’ and who replies, `Drink, and I will even water your camels,’ her You have designated for Your servant, for Yitzchok”

In Eliezer’s tefillah to find a fitting wife for Yitzchok why does he say, “for Your servant, for Yitzchok?” Why does he refer to Yitzchok as Your servant and not Your son? Yisroel are referred to as sons of Hashem, as the Torah writes, “You are children to Hashem, your G-d” (Devorim 14:1)— not servants? HaKodosh Boruch Hu says, “My firstborn son is Israel” (Shemos 4:23). Yirmiyahu HaNovi writes in the name of Hashem, “Is Ephraim My favorite son or a delightful child, that whenever I speak of him I remember him more and more?” (Yirmiyahu 31:19).

This can be explained quite simply. “Your servant” refers not to Yitzchok but rather to himself, Avrohom Avinu’s servant who was sent to find a wife for his master’s son Yitzchok. This coincides with the beginning of the verse. “Hochachto” besides meaning designated also means, “You have shown” and refers to Eliezer who through Rivkah’s acts of chessed saw clearly that Rivkah was a proper wife, “leYizchak” for Yitzchok, his master’s son.

This explanation also explains why the verse doesn’t just say, “for Your servant Yitzchok.” Why is the word “for” repeated before “Yitzchok”? Since “servant” is referring to Eliezer and not to Yitzchok, and “for Yitzchok” is referring, of course, only to Yitzchok for whom Eliezer prayed that HaKodosh Boruch Hu send a proper mate.

Actually even “your servant” can be explained as referring to Yitzchok and it alludes to Yitzchok’s excessive humility. The Torah points out Yitzchok’s commendable trait of always picturing himself as being a servant of Hashem. Since he was such a humble person, a loyal eved Hashem, it was only appropriate for Hashem to send him his partner in life.

Humility is the root of shefa (abundance), as the Maggid of Mezritch explains the Gemora (Shabbos 156a) “Ein mazal leYisroel”—someone who is an ein, who is humble and considers himself as naught, causes that Yisroel will have mazal. Through this virtuous attribute, a tzaddik arouses the heavenly sphere of unity called ayin, which is the source of children, life and livelihood.

The Torah specifically mentions this middah of Yitzchok, humility, since it arouses for us the source of shefa. Now we understand why the Torah writes, “for Your servant, for Yitzchok” and not, “for Your servant Yitzchok” since it alludes that through this middah of being an eved Hashem, who humbles himself for his Creator, shefa comes to the world. The Torah repeats “for” before ”servant” to emphasize that it is referring to the middah of Yitzchok, his humility, and not to Yitzchok himself.

Rivkah also passed this Divine test of humility. Although Eliezer addressed Rivkah as one would address a princess and said, “Let me sip, if you please, a little water from your jug” (Bereishis 24:17), instead of becoming arrogant, she answered humbly, “Drink my master” (ibid, v. 18). Since she was so humble she called Eliezer, “my master.”

Eliezer decided that the water is a siman—a Divine indication, that he has found the correct wife for Yitzchok, since water alludes to humility because it “leaves a high place and descends to a lower place” (Ta’anis 7a).

[Maran Rebbe Sholom of Belz zy’a]