April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Every word in the Torah has value and is there for a purpose. Why then does it seem like this week’s parsha of Chayei Sarah gives us extra information? The parsha begins with the announcement that Sarah has passed away. It then continues by detailing Avraham purchasing a burial spot. Avraham desired to purchase not just a single plot but an entire cave known as Maarat Hamachpela. We all want to know where our ancestors are buried, so it makes sense to bring it up. But why go into all the details of the negotiation?

Rather than stating that Abraham purchases it, the Torah describes how Abraham refused to accept it for free and insisted on paying 400 shekalim. We are told of the whole back-and-forth discussion, but why?

I think this discussion can teach us two messages. Firstly, the discussion started with Ephron (the seller) asking why Avraham needed to give him money. He had felt they were like friends and that they live together, side by side. Avraham responds by giving Ephron the 400 shekels and he takes it. Avraham knew who to trust and who not to trust.

Some people can act friendly and while they offer you a gift, do not truly mean to do so.

This is comparable to our current situation around us. There is a great deal of antisemitism during this time of war, but many of us have been surrounded by coworkers, classmates, neighbors and others who have always spoken politely, offered assistance and seemed to be there for us. The majority of the world is against us, despite their previous seeming kindness and lack of antisemitism. Avraham was able to see that he had to put his trust in people who feared God. May we fear God and understand that we should rely on Hashem and have faith in the Jewish people.

A second reason is that Avraham is a good role model. Should Avraham be required to pay when he already knows the land is promised to him? Avraham showed that despite there being a way to “cheat the system,” we shouldn’t. Hashem grants us what we need and makes things happen the way they should, in our best interest. Knowing that allows us to go through life without always looking for a way out of things. May we acknowledge Hashem’s kindness and love for us. May we continue to show Him the good in us and give Him a reason to show His goodness in our lives. May we continue to put our trust in Him and His people!

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