This page presents insights by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton on the weekly Torah portion.
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Parshat Chayei Sarah (5772)
This week's Torah portion is called the "The Life of Sarah" which is a bit strange because it begins with Sarah's burial well after her passing.
Furthermore, it's not so clear what exactly this story is doing in the Bible. It doesn't seem to be spiritual or religious at all. Most of it deals with the rather normal actions, reactions and words of Abraham's servant Eliezer in his quest to find a bride for Isaac, Abraham's son.
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The purpose of the Torah is to 'unite' and, so to speak, marry G-d with the world; the Creator with the creation.
This is the meaning of the ' Shma Yisroel' prayer (see Rashi on Deut. 6:4) and it is what the Jews were 'chosen' by G-d to do when they were given the commandments.
According to Kabbalistic books this began with the marriage of Isaac to Rivka. The spiritual is represented by Isaac and the spiritual is represented by Rivka. And this marks the beginning of the Jewish people.
The end result will be (as the Rambam writes regarding the goal of Moshiach) to fill the world with meaning, prosperity, peace, blessing, health and the awareness of G-d.
But to make this happen requires self-sacrifice.
So that is why the Torah spends so much time in this week's Torah portion on the seemingly banal deeds of Abraham's servant in his search for Rivka, Isaac's future bride and why it is called "The LIFE of Sarah"; Because this 'marriage' marks the beginning of the bringing of Moshiach which is what Sarah and all the founders of Judaism lived for.
Now it all depends on us.
We must have self-sacrifice for learning Torah and doing the commandments. But really, just one more good deed, word or even thought …… especially if done with self-sacrifice, can tilt the scales, transform the world and bring the goal of Abraham, Sarah and all the 'Fathers and Mothers' of Judaism to fruition with….
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