This Shabbat we
read the portion of Chayei Sarah and bless the month of Kislev.
The portion 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.
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.
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.
teaches that in the merit of righteous women we were redeemed
from Egypt and we will merit the coming of Moshiach. May he come
merit of Elian (Elly) and Eden (Emily) Baranoff on the occasion
of their birth. May Hashem’s bless every aspect of their lives
and may their lives be imbued with the ways of our matriarchs
may they be a constant source of pride and joy to their parents
and all who know them.
representatives are assisting the displaced and ravaged from
hurricane Sandy. Please email me if you would like to assist.
A project of
Chabad of Great Neck
400 East Shore
Rd. Great Neck NY 11024
516 4874554 fax