Weekly Torah Portion: Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

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In this Torah portion, Sarah dies at the age of 127. Abraham searches for a place to bury her and settles on Machpelah. Abraham searches for a wife for his son, Isaac. Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac. The servant meets Rebekah at a well, where she provides water for him and his camels. Abraham marries Keturah, and has six more sons. He then dies at the age of 175. Read an extensive summary on My Jewish Learning

Related D’var Torah

“Remember Dr. King’s words? ‘The backlash is merely the surfacing of prejudices, of hostilities, of hatred and fears that already existed…’ Dr. King said those words 38 years ago at Howard University…” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2006. Read the full drash

“For hundreds of years, [the Jewish community in Ethiopia] had been practicing pre-talmudic Judaism. Their prayers pointed Jerusalem as they dreamed go one day reaching the holy land. Just as they traveled on foot for long distances in the desert so they could be airlifted to Israel from Sudan, so too do we read of the Israelites wandering in the desertion search of better times…”- Student Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg in 2006. read the full drash

Torah Verse of the Week*

“Isaac then brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he took Rebekah as his wife. Isaac loved her; and thus found comfort after his mother’s death.” (Genesis 24:67; Parashat Chaye Sarah)

Other Suggested Readings

This week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah tells of three important events: Sarah’s death and burial, Isaac and Rebekah’s marriage, and the reunion of Isaac and Ishmael to bury their father Abraham. Check out the Telephone Torah Study archives

“How “butch” is Rebekah! — strong enough to hoist bucketful after bucketful of water to water many camels.” – Read Rabbi Lisa’s opening Kavanah for Keshet Leadership Summit — LA Collaborative, November 2014

“One would be hard-pressed to guess from the gentle stories told in Chayei Sarah of the deaths and burials of Sarah, Abraham and Ishmael that the site of their entombment in modern Hebron would eventually yield such conflict.” – Rabbi Lisa in the Jewish Journal, 2014. Read it here

‘Camels and Consummation’ a Torah Queery by Joy Ladin which discusses how Torah gives us radical freedom to transform ourselves. Read

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*Torah Verse of the Week is chosen by the Torah class during Tuesdays’ studies with Rabbi Lisa Edwards. Check out when our next Torah Study takes place

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