Chayei Sarah (The Life of a
(Sefer Bereishit) Genesis 23:1-25:18
23:1- “And Sarah was an hundred and twenty-seven
years old: these were the years of the life of
2- And Sarah died in Kiryat-Arba; the same is
Chevron in the land of Canaan: and Avraham came to
mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
24:2- And Avraham said unto his eldest servant of
his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I
thee, thy hand under my thigh:
3- And I will make thee swear by YHVH, the Elohim of
heaven, and the Elohim of the earth, that thou
shall not take a wife unto my son of the daughters
of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
4- But thou shall go unto my country, and to my
kindred, and take a wife unto my son Yitzchak.
10- And the servant took ten camels of the camels of
his master, and departed; for all the goods of his
master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to
Aram Naharayim, unto the city of Nachor.
11- And he made his camels to kneel down without the
city by a well of water at the time of the
evening, even the time that women go out to draw
15- And it came to pass, before he had done
speaking, that, behold, Rivkah came out, who was
Betuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nachor, Avraham's
brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.
16- And the maiden was very fair to look upon, a
virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went
down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came
55- And her brother and her mother said, Let the
maiden abide with us a few days, at the least ten;
that she shall go.
56- And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing
YHVH has prospered my way; send me away that I
may go to my master.
57- And they said, We will call the maiden, and
inquire at her mouth.
58- And they called Rivkah, and said unto her, Wilt
thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
60- And they blessed Rivkah, and said unto her, Thou
art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of
millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those
which hate them.
62- And Yitzchak came from the way of the well
Lachai-roi; for he dwelt in the south country.
63- And Yitzchak went out to meditate in the field
at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw,
and, behold, the camels were coming.
64- And Rivkah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw
Yitzchak, she lighted off the camel.
65- For she had said unto the servant, What man is
this that walks in the field to meet us? And the
servant had said, It is my master: therefore she
took a veil, and covered herself.
67- And Yitzchak brought her into his mother Sarah's
tent, and took Rivkah, and she became his wife;
and he loved her: and Yitzchak was comforted after
his mother's death.
25:7- And these are the days of the years of
Avraham's life which he lived, a hundred
“Hearken, O daughter, and
consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine
own people, and thy
father's house; So shall the king greatly desire thy
beauty: for he is thy Adonai; and worship him.”
“Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call
understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep
thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which
flatters with her words.
“And He said to man, Behold, the fear of YHVH, that
is wisdom; and to depart from evil is
“The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but
violence covers the mouth of the wicked.”
“And he spoke unto the congregation, saying, Depart,
I pray you, from the tents of these wicked
men and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed
in all their sins.”
“Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch
no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her;
be ye clean, that bear the vessels of YHVH.”
“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the
wells of salvation.”
Chayei Sarah Summary:
1. The Destined Bride Comes Out:
In an ironic yet non-misleading manner, parasha
Chayei Sarah though opening with the death of
the Matriarch, is rather about her daughter-in-law,
Rivkah. Truly, this sedra has been dubbed, ‘the life
of a princess,’ and Rivkah’s life reflects that
odyssey. For even as Eliezer, the servant of
Avraham, had been instructed to fetch a bride not
akin to the Canaanites, the call coming to the
future princess was one of departure, leaving the
lowlands of Mesopotamia to ascend, like Avraham
before her, to the Land of Promise. The raw
commitment she made is not to be overlooked.
Beginning with her introduction, she identifies
herself as the daughter of Betuel (house of El, i.e.
a man of Elohim); for of great significance she was
herself, betulah (lit. a virgin). Rivkah had kept
herself unspotted, prepared for such time as this.
Her faith and willingness to leave for a land and to
a man she instinctively knew was rightly ordained
speaks volumes to us today, authenticating our own
commitment to dwell in the House of YHVH and
substantiating our determination to detach ourselves
from the familiarity of Babylonian consciousness.
The call to all who desire this more ethereal
habitation, culminating in the celebrated ascent to
Yerushalayim requires a spiritual defection from the
ephemeral standards of man in hopes of receiving the
inheritance promised to the children of Avraham.
Make no mistake, Yitzchak was to receive a bride
who was to be unblemished, and so Isaiah 62:5
clarifies the condition of those desiring this
mystical union with the King of Glory, as it is
written concerning Yerushalayim and her future
“For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall thy
sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom
rejoices over the bride, so shall thy Elohim rejoice
2. Found by the Fount, the Bride Will Have a
So profound was the location in which Rivkah was
discovered and how remarkable her willingness
to draw out waters to refresh the weary traveler.
Her readiness to serve coupled with the generosity
displayed became the fulfillment of the sign sought
by the servant of the blessed one. This preparedness
defines the character of the invited to go up to
Tzion. Avraham, yearned for a daughter who would
the qualities and passions of his own. As the Torah
continues, Yitzchak receives acclaim as one who “dug
wells,” as it is unearthed in Genesis 26:19:
“And Yitzchak's servants dug in the valley, and
found there a well of springing water.”
And again, in Genesis 26:22, he further excavated,
until he found peace in the land,
“And he removed from there, and dug another
well...and he called the name of it Rechovot;
and he said, For now YHVH has made room for us, and
we shall be fruitful in the land.”
The importance of a vibrant well within is
synonymous with a flourishing spiritual life. In
chapter four of the Song of Songs, living waters
epitomize the beloved of the King. Verse 12 reveals
the modesty, viz.,
“A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring
shut up, a fountain sealed.”
And, simultaneous to that reservation is the gushing
potential of the faithful bride as verse 15
“A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and
streams from Lebanon.”
So contained and yet so spontaneous does the well
within spring forth from those available to water
flocks of HaShem’s servants. For even as the well
comes in first sight of the Almighty, as Yitzchak
immediately struck by the appearance of Rivka as He
walked by the way of Beer LaChai Roi, (lit. the
well of the Living One that sees me), so it is love
at first sight. Psalms 85:11 confirms this exchange
the Lover taking notice of the beloved as she yields
the waters of virtue from within:
“Truth shall spring out of the earth; and
Righteousness shall look down from heaven.”