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Chayei Sarah - The Easy Path - Hakhel
By Rabbi Yonassan Biggs
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Shalom and Bracha!
  May Hashem protect the Jewish people in the land of Israel and throughout the world and grant perfect peace through the coming of Moshiach!

  This week begins with the passing of Sarah and the purchase of Ma’arat Hamachpelah, the tomb of the patriarchs in Chevron, as her burial place. As the Jewish identity of our holy sites is being challenged, it is worthy to note that it was purchased for Sarah, the mother of the Jewish people, and thereafter Isaac and Rebecca and Jacob and Leah, the forefathers of the Jewish people and no other nation were buried there. Furthermore, Sarah disinherited Ismail as is clear in the bible and this site was purchased for her.

  The portion describes at length the marriage of Yitzchak and Rivkah. Avraham sent his servant Eliezer to his homeland, enjoining him to find a suitable bride for Yitzchak from amongst his family. Eliezer reached his destination in miraculous speed, and prayed to Hashem to send the right girl and make her easily identifiable. Before he concluded praying, Rivkah arrived and fulfilled the signs that Eliezer had set. These signs also demonstrated her worthiness to enter the house of Avraham, because they were signs of intense hospitality. Upon seeing that Hashem had answered his prayers, even before asking her identity, Eliezer presented her with the betrothal gifts. After identifying herself, she invited him to her father’s home where the betrothal took place. Within a very short time, and with miraculous ease, the betrothal was complete, Rivkah was brought home to her groom, Yitzchak and they were married.

  The success of the mission was due to the merit of Avraham and the wedding’s significance to the future of the Jewish people. The ease and smoothness of the mission, however, were connected with the merits of the messenger. Eliezer had tremendous faith in the hand of Hashem that was guiding him. This is why he gave the presents before asking. When Eliezer was invited to the home of Rivkah’s father, her father invited him to eat. Eliezer refused to eat until he had completed his mission. When he introduced himself, he introduced himself as “The servant of Avraham” without mentioning his own name. (Eliezer was a great scholar and warrior as related in the Midrash.) He was so focused on the importance of his mission that he put aside his physical needs and he was so devoted to Avraham that he put aside his identity. Because of this faith and devotion, he merited miraculous ease in fulfilling his mission.

  Often, we involve ourselves charitable efforts, either assisting the needy, promoting the future of Judaism or other good causes. Because we are working for Hashem, we will surely succeed, just as Eliezer was assured to find Rivkah. In order to ease the path, however, we must learn from Eliezer. We must truly trust in Hashem’s grace and that He will aid us. We must recognize the blessings we receive and let them fortify our faith. We must make our mission our highest priority. We approach our work with immense humility, realizing that our accomplishments are a gift of Hashem, not our own skills. When we remove our own ego, we make room for Hashem’s blessing in a miraculous manner.

  This weekend thousands of Chabad rabbis will convene from around the world to strengthen and encourage each other in strengthening the Jewish people, Torah study and observance and blazing the trail for Moshiach. As this is a Hakhel year, Hashem’s blessing for ease and success is multiplied. In truth, gathering together is an ideal opportunity to exemplify the lessons of the portion, encouraging each other’s faith, focus and selflessness. This is a lesson to everyone and the embodiment of this Hakhel year.

  The redemption from Egypt was in the merit of faith. Through increasing in faith, dedication and humility, we will hasten the completion of the ultimate mission, perfecting the world through the coming of Moshiach.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Biggs

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Dedicated in memory of Turan Bat Tubia and Yaakov Mizrahi, may her soul be bound in the bond of eternal life. May Hashem grant her blissful rest in Gan Eden and bless her family with strength, inspiration, joy and every manner of goodness from now forward.
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A project of Chabad of Great Neck
400 East Shore Rd. Great Neck NY 11024
516 4874554


 
   
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