Parshat Chayei Sarah

FRIDAY, November 10th

Although this week’s parsha is called “Chayei Sarah” (Sarah’s Life) the real star of the parsha is Rivkah, Sarah’s daughter-in-law. Much of the parsha is taken up with the story of Rivkah’s betrothal to Yitzhak. Throughout the story, we find instances of Rivkah taking the initiative and going beyond what is expected, first when she waters the camels of Avraham’s servant, even before he asks her to, then in offering the servant her hospitality without checking with her family first, and most significantly, in agreeing to leave her family behind (against their wishes) to go marry Yitzhak. Finally, when she sees Yitzhak, before even being told who he is, she gets down from her camel to meet him. Rivkah is a woman who acts decisively, both when it comes to her own choices for herself, and to seeing to the needs of others. She has much in common with her father-in-law, Avraham, with whom she shares an alacrity of action and an enthusiasm for hospitality.

May we learn from the examples set by Rivkah and by Avraham, in not hesitating to act when action is called for, in being responsive to the needs of others, and in being unafraid to go where God calls us, even if that means leaving behind the familiar and the comfortable.

Rabbi Garth Silberstein