Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

Chayei Sarah (The Life of a Princess)
(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 Sarah.
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 pray
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 water.
15- And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rivkah came out, who was born to
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 up.
55- And her brother and her mother said, Let the maiden abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after
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 seventy-five years.”

 

“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.”
(Psalms 45:10-11)


“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.
(Proverbs 7:4-5)


“And He said to man, Behold, the fear of YHVH, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”
(Job 28:28)


“The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.”
(Proverbs 10:11)


“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.”
(Numbers 16:26)

 
“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.”
(Isaiah 52:11)


“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
(Isaiah 12:3)


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 residents thereof,
“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 over thee.”


2. Found by the Fount, the Bride Will Have a Well Within:
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 she
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 share
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 continues:
“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 the
flocks of HaShem’s servants. For even as the well comes in first sight of the Almighty, as Yitzchak was
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 of
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.”
 

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