Chayei Sarah –
Focus in Life
NY City Candle lighting 4:18 Shabbat
For candle lighting times anywhere in
the world you can go to my website
and adjust the location
Shalom and Bracha!
This Shabbat we read the portion of Chayei Sarah which begins
with the passing of Sarah and the purchase of Ma’arat
Hamachpelah (The cave of the patriarchs) in Chevron as her
burial place. Thereafter the Torah describes the preparation for
the marriage between Yitzchak and Rivkah. Rivkah was in Aram
Naharayim, and since Hashem forbade Yitzchak to leave Israel,
Avraham’s servant Eliezer was chosen to find him a suitable
bride. The many miracles that occurred during his mission
demonstrated to him that Rivkah was the intended bride and the
matriarch of the Jewish people.
When Eliezer returned to Israel with Rivkah the Torah relates
“Yitzchak brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother” and
thereafter married her. Rashi explains that the words “the tent
of Sarah his mother” teach us that when she came to their home,
all of the blessings that had departed when Sarah passed on
returned. During Sarah’s life, her Shabbat candles burnt from
one Friday until the next. Upon Sarah’s passing, the miracle
ceased and with Rivkah’s arrival it returned. During Sarah’s
life, there was a blessing in the dough which returned with
Rivkah. During Sarah’s life, there was a cloud (representing the
Divine Presence) that rested upon the tent. It returned with
Rivkah’s arrival. Upon witnessing these miracles, Yitzchak took
her as his bride.
These three miracles were more than just a sign that Rivkah was
the chosen. They teach us the three criteria for a Jewish home.
The Shabbat candles illuminate. Burning throughout the week
teaches us that the inspiration from Shabbat must illuminate the
entire week. This applies to every Mitzvah. The Mitzvot are
referred to as candles. They must guide and inspire us not only
while fulfilling them, but rather until we fulfill them again.
The blessing in the dough was that even when one ate a small
quantity, he was satiated. This came in the merit of Kosher in
general and specifically the Mitzvah of Challah. What is the
connection of Challah to satiation? The Mitzvah of Challah is to
separate the first of the dough for Hashem. This reminds us that
our possessions, and even the food we eat, are meant for a
purpose and part of a divine plan. When I eat for pleasure, I am
always hungry. When I eat to be healthy and thereby serve Hashem,
I am satiated. When my possessions are to satisfy materialism, I
am always wanting. It is interesting to note that the Hebrew
word evyon (destitute) literally means someone who desires
rather than one who lacks. When I view my possessions as a means
to live in the path of Hashem, I am content.
The cloud on the tent represents the Divine Presence. The
presence of Hashem is both a great blessing and a great
responsibility. Realizing Hashem’s immediate presence, we must
cleanse our homes and our behavior of anything unfit. This is
exemplified in the Mitzvah of family purity, the laws of Mikveh.
The Talmud teaches that these three Mitzvot mend the damage
caused by the sin of Adam and Chava. This will lead to the
perfected world we will enjoy with the coming of Moshiach!
Dedicated in Merit
of Meir (Miro) ben David Qubrusi. May Hashem’s blessings
Illuminate every step of his life and may he bring joy and pride
to his family.
Project of Chabad of Great Neck
East Shore Rd. Great Neck NY 11024
4874554 fax 516 4874807