What Is Missing

Parashat HaShavua Chayei Sarah / Sarah Lived

This Week’s Reading List:

Y BeReshit / Genesis 23:1-25:18

Y Melachim Aleph / 1 Kings 1:1-31

Y Korintim Aleph / 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

Y Donate On-Line

Bereshit {23:1} Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years. These were the years of Sarah’s life. {23:2} Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (the same is Hebron), in the land of Cana’an. Avraham (Abraham) came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. {23:3} Avraham rose up from before his dead, and spoke to the bnei (children of) Heth, saying, {23:4} “I am a stranger and a sojourner with you. Give me a possession of a burying-place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”

I am a true proponent of once married always married (until death that is)! My philosophy is that it takes three to make a marriage (husband / wife and Yeshua) and only two to break it up (husband and wife). So, no matter what you may think that I am saying in this commentary, this is my position and it will not change.

It is interesting to note that many of the saints of the Bible had rocky marriage relationships. Moshe (Moses) and his wife Zipporah, as we know, argued over the circumcision of their son. This resulted in them splitting up. It was Moshe’s father-in-law, Yitro (Jethro), who reunited the couple. Yet there is no indication in Scripture that they remained together — even after that. Now in this parasha we read that Sarah died in Hebron while in last week’s Parasha we were told that Avraham lived in Be’er-Sheva (Beersheba). On today’s highways these two cities are just 45 kilometres apart, a twenty eight minute drive (no traffic). However, in Avrahams time the distance was through the midbar (wilderness) and it was a hard and arduous trip through a mountainous region, especially for a man Avraham’s age. So they were separated!

Bereshit {22:19} So Avraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheva. Avraham lived at Beersheva.

It is believed by the rabbis that Avraham and Sarah split-up over the akidah (the binding of Isaac). This was despite that fact that Yitzchak was believed to be in his thirties when the akidah took place. However, if we hold to the rabbis’ opinion as being truth, then it would mean that both Moshe and Avraham argued and split-up with their wives because of disagreements over the children. Children are important, but they certainly should not come between couples that love each other and have G-d in their marriage.

This would certainly make me wonder about these great men of G-d who played such important roles in biblical history. What was it that was lacking in their lives and / or in their relationship with their spouse that caused conflict that was only able to be resolved through separation I do not want to place the blame on any one party; however, when we look closely at the two situations (Moshe’s and Avraham’s) there is but one striking similarity. Both situations involve the children.

I rely a great deal on my wife’s opinion, and although I always take what she says into serious consideration we both agree that the final decision, without exception, is always mine. For some that may seem scary; however, my wife knows that I am a godly, G-d fearing man and that I would never make a major decision without first consulting G-d in prayer and, when necessary, in fasting. Perhaps the difference between my wife and the wives of Moshe and Avraham is that she is filled with the same Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) that I am. Therefore, she recognizes when it is G-d working through me or when it is my flesh that’s directing me. This was not the case with both Zipporah and Sarah. There is no indication that they were filled with the Ruach HaKodesh. Remember that the Ruach was not poured out on all flesh at that time in history. As we know, it was not until Shavuot in the first century, after the ascension of the resurrected Yeshua HaMashiach, that the Ruach HaKodesh was poured out on all flesh, that is, on those who received Yeshua HaMashiach as their L-rd and Saviour. Before that time the Ruach rested on only those whom the L-rd sent it upon, and even then it most often came and went as the L-rd purposed.

This brings us full circle and back to where I said that it takes three to make a marriage and only two to break it up. It appears to me that both Zepporah and Sarah were lacking the third!

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Baruch HaShem

Rabbi Ya’acov Farber{:}