Parshas Chaya Sara – November 14, 2020

November 10, 2020 – first day out of quarantine.  I was very depressed yesterday because I had no clue what Rabbi Revah was talking about  in the Shiur,  I spent 3.5 hours working on the Shiur and I am 75%restored.  I think I now understand the Shiur.  The next day I am again depressed because the Shiur was above me.  I have to review.

Bubi Blanche is doing as expected.  Serka is going tonight to visit for the allotted three hours.  

First Vort on the Sedra:

Pasuk 23:2 says:

וַתָּ֣מָת שָׂרָ֗ה בְּקִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע הִ֥וא חֶבְר֖וֹן בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וַיָּבֹא֙ אַבְרָהָ֔ם לִסְפֹּ֥ד לְשָׂרָ֖ה וְלִבְכֹּתָֽהּ׃

Rashi comments as to why the city was called:

בקרית ארבע. עַל שֵׁם אַרְבַּע עֲנָקִים שֶׁהָיוּ שָׁם, אֲחִימָן שֵׁשַׁי וְתַלְמַי וַאֲבִיהֶם. דָּ”אַ עַל שֵׁם אַרְבַּע זוּגוֹת שֶׁנִקְבְּרוּ שָׁם אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ, אָדָם וְחַוָּה, אַבְרָהָם וְשָׂרָה, יִצְחָק וְרִבְקָה, יַעֲקֹב וְלֵאָה (בראשית רבה):

Rashi brings down two reason when Chevron was called קִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע.  

  1. It was named after the four giants who lived there
  2. The four pairs buried in Cnevron

Thesource of the first reason is from a Verse in Yehushua 14>15 – וְשֵׁ֨ם חֶבְר֤וֹן לְפָנִים֙ קִרְיַ֣ת אַרְבַּ֔ע הָאָדָ֧ם הַגָּד֛וֹל בָּעֲנָקִ֖ים ה֑וּא וְהָאָ֥רֶץ שָׁקְטָ֖ה מִמִּלְחָמָֽה׃ 

The name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba: [Arba] was the great man among the Anakites. And the land had rest from war.

Rashi on Verse 14:15 in Yehoshua

הָאָדָם הַגָּדוֹל בָּעֲנָקִים הוּא אֲבִיהֶם שֶׁל אֲחִימָן שֵׁשַׁי וְתַלְמַי, אַרְבַּע הָיָה שְׁמוֹ. דָּבָר אַחֵר: עַל שֵׁם הָאָב וּשְׁלשָׁה בָּנִים, שֶׁכֵּן קוֹרֵא אוֹתָם (שם יג כב): יְלִידֵי הָעֲנָק.

The greatest man among the giants. The father of Achimon, Sheishai, and Talmai was Arba.7Chevron was the home of these four famous giants, the three brothers and their father. Another explanation: [It was called Kiryas-arba, the city of four]8 because of the father and the three sons, for they are referred to as the offspring of the “Anak,” [the giant].9

Rashi in Yehoshua gives two reasons and Rashi selected the second reason that he gave in Yehoshua for here in Chaya Sarah.  

How are we to understand the second explanation in Rashi here in Bereshis that the city was called קִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע because of the four pairs buried in Chevon when in Yehoshua we are told that it is because of the four giants?  

The Netziv in Hemek Davar answers this question that this second explanation is not the reason why the city is called קרית ארבע, but rather why Hashem arranged it that Sarah would die in   קרית ארבע .  Because that is where she was to be buried.   Sara and Avrohom lived in Beer Sheva, with Chevron being roughly 20 miles north of Chevron, and Har Hamoriah being 15 miles north of Chevron.   As the Netziv says  משום הדרש ששם ראוי להקבר ארבע אבות העולם and her death there was a sign to Avrohom to bury her in  קִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע .

The problem with the Hemek Davar is that it seems based on Rashi’s Bereshis 21:24 that Avrohim moved to Chevron 12 years before the Akedah.  Rashi as follows:

ימים רבים. מְרֻבִּים עַל שֶׁל חֶבְרוֹן. בְּחֶבְרוֹן עָשָׂה כ”ה שָׁנָה וְכָאן כ”ו, שֶׁהֲרֵי בֶּן ע”ה שָׁנָה הָיָה בְּצֵאתוֹ מֵחָרָן, אוֹתָהּ שָׁנָה וַיָבֹא וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא, שֶׁלֹּא מָצִינוּ קֹדֶם לָכֵן שֶׁנִּתְיַשֵּׁב אֶלָּא שָׁם, שֶׁבְּכָל מְקוֹמוֹתָיו הָיָה כְּאוֹרֵחַ חוֹנֶה וְנוֹסֵעַ וְהוֹלֵך, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיַּעֲבֹר אַבְרָם, וַיַּעְתֵּק מִשָּׁם, וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ וַיֵּרֶד אַבְרָם מִצְרַיְמָה (בראשית י”ב), וּבְמִצְרַיִם לֹא עָשָׂה אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים שֶׁהֲרֵי שְׁלָחוֹ פַרְעֹה מִיָּד, וַיֵּלֶךְ לְמַסָּעָיו עַד וַיָּבֹא וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא אֲשֶׁר בְּחֶבְרוֹן (שם י”ג), שָׁם יָשַׁב עַד שֶׁנֶּהֱפְכָה סְדוֹם, מִיָּד וַיִּסַּע מִשָּׁם אַבְרָהָם מִפְּנֵי בוּשָׁה שֶׁל לוֹט וּבָא לְאֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים, וּבֶן צ”ט שָׁנָה הָיָה, שֶׁהֲרֵי בַשְּׁלִישִׁי לְמִילָתוֹ בָּאוּ אֶצְלוֹ הַמַּלְאָכִים, הֲרֵי כ”ה שָׁנָה, וְכָאן כְּתִיב יָמִים רַבִּים, מְרֻבִּים עַל הָרִאשׁוֹנִים, וְלֹא בָא הַכָּתוּב לִסְתֹּם אֶלָּא לְפָרֵשׁ, וְאִם הָיוּ מְרֻבִּים עֲלֵיהֶם שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים אוֹ יוֹתֵר הָיָה מְפָרְשָׁם, וְעַל כָּרְחֲךָ אֵינָם יְתֵרִים יוֹתֵר מִשָּׁנָה, הֲרֵי כ”ו שָׁנָה; מִיָּד יָצָא מִשָּׁם וְחָזַר לְחֶבְרוֹן, וְאוֹתָהּ שָׁנָה קָדְמָה לִפְנֵי עֲקֵדָתוֹ שֶׁל יִצְחָק י”ב שָׁנִים, בְּסֵדֶר עוֹלָם:

The problem is that is Bereshis  22:19  וַיָּ֤שָׁב אַבְרָהָם֙ אֶל־נְעָרָ֔יו וַיָּקֻ֛מוּ וַיֵּלְכ֥וּ יַחְדָּ֖ו אֶל־בְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב אַבְרָהָ֖ם בִּבְאֵ֥ר שָֽׁבַע׃ .    Abraham then returned to his servants, and they departed together for Beer-sheba; and Abraham stayed in Beer-sheba.

If Avrohom was living in Chevron why did he go to Beer Sheva after the Akeda.  The simple answer is that  while living in Chevron, Avrohom and Sarah went back to Beer Sheva at times and when the Akedah happened Avrohom was in Beer Sheva.  After i re[read Rashi on Verse 22”19 it appears that I am correct.

וישב אברהם בבאר שבע. לֹא יְשִׁיבָה מַמָּשׁ, שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּחֶבְרוֹן הָיָה יוֹשֵׁב, י”ב שָׁנִים לִפְנֵי עֲקֵדָתוֹ שֶׁל יִצְחָק יָצָא מִבְּאֵר שֶׁבַע וְהָלַךְ לוֹ לְחֶבְרוֹן, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיָּגָר אַבְרָהָם בְּאֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים יָמִים רַבִּים, מְרֻבִּים מִשֶּׁל חֶבְרוֹן הָרִאשׁוֹנִים, וְהֵם כ”ו שָׁנָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁפֵּרַשְׁנוּ לְמַעְלָה:

She died in Chevron to tell Avrohom that this is to be the place of her burial and why?  What was so special about Chevron.  The answer could be based on Rabbi Leibtag’s Shiur via Zoom to Boca Raton Synagogue on November 10, 2020.  Chevron is the place where Hashem told Avrohom in Bersehis Verse 18:19 why he is chosen by Hashem to discuss Sedom’s fate.  Avrohom represents Gods desire for the world to live with  צְדָקָ֖ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט and Avrohom is to teach the world this message.     Power is not to be achieved for power’s sake and for domination and subjugation;  but for justice and charity, to feed the poor, to uplift the people of their kingdom and the entire world.  Avrohom will teach his children the message of  צְדָקָ֖ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט and his children will forever continue to spread this message.       This is in contrast to Sedom who were evil and did not practice justice and charity.  This is the paradigm for Jewish leaders which was first achieved by Dovid Hamelech, see below.

Besersis – verse 19:19:   כִּ֣י יְדַעְתִּ֗יו לְמַעַן֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְצַוֶּ֜ה אֶת־בָּנָ֤יו וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ֙ אַחֲרָ֔יו וְשָֽׁמְרוּ֙ דֶּ֣רֶךְ יְהוָ֔ה לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת צְדָקָ֖ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט לְמַ֗עַן הָבִ֤יא יְהוָה֙ עַל־אַבְרָהָ֔ם אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֖ר עָלָֽיו׃

For I have singled him out, that he may instruct his children and his posterity to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is just and right, in order that the LORD may bring about for Abraham what He has promised him.”

Chevron represents the theological center for the Jewish people.  This is where Avrohom was told his legacy, the mission for his children  This mission for Jewish power was first achieved in the time of Dovid in the following Verses:

Schmuel 2 Verses 7:14-15

וַ.  .  .   וַיּ֤וֹשַׁע יְהוָה֙ אֶת־דָּוִ֔ד בְּכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָלָֽךְ

He stationed garrisons in Edom—he stationed garrisons in all of Edom—and all the Edomites became vassals of David. The LORD gave David victory wherever he went.

וַיִּמְלֹ֥ךְ דָּוִ֖ד עַל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיְהִ֣י דָוִ֗ד עֹשֶׂ֛ה מִשְׁפָּ֥ט וּצְדָקָ֖ה לְכָל־עַמּֽוֹ׃

David reigned over all Israel, and David executed true justice among all his people.

1 Chronicles 18:14 –  וַיִּמְלֹ֥ךְ דָּוִ֖יד עַל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיְהִ֗י עֹשֶׂ֛ה מִשְׁפָּ֥ט וּצְדָקָ֖ה לְכָל־עַמּֽוֹ׃

Rashi says on this   Pasuk:

משפט וצדקה. משך עצמו מלהלחם עוד ומלצאת ולבא עוד במלחמה והיה יושב ושופט תמיד ישראל בצדקה:

These theme of  צְדָקָ֖ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט  appears throughout Tanach as the goal of the Jewish people.

F.  Yehuda & David and concept of teshuva

תהילים פרק עב

א  לִשְׁלֹמֹה:    אֱלֹהִים–מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ, לְמֶלֶךְ תֵּן; וְצִדְקָתְךָ לְבֶן-מֶלֶךְ. ב  יָדִין

עַמְּךָ בְצֶדֶק;    וַעֲנִיֶּיךָ בְמִשְׁפָּט.-  יִשְׁפֹּט עֲנִיֵּי עָם יוֹשִׁיעַ, לִבְנֵי אֶבְיוֹן;

וִידַכֵּא עוֹשֵׁק…. י  מַלְכֵי תַרְשִׁישׁ וְאִיִּים,    מִנְחָה יָשִׁיבוּ;מַלְכֵי שְׁבָא וּסְבָא אֶשְׁכָּר

יַקְרִיבוּ. יא וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ-לוֹ כָל-מְלָכִים כָּל-גּוֹיִם יַעַבְדוּהוּ. יב  כִּי-יַצִּיל, אֶבְיוֹן מְשַׁוֵּעַ;

וְעָנִי, וְאֵין-עֹזֵר לוֹ. יג  יָחֹס, עַל-דַּל וְאֶבְיוֹן;וְנַפְשׁוֹת אֶבְיוֹנִים יוֹשִׁיעַ.

G.    What could have saved Jerusalem – according to Yirmiyahu

ירמיהו כ – 

    א כֹּה אָמַר ה’, רֵד בֵּית-מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה; וְדִבַּרְתָּ שָׁם, אֶת

הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה.  

ב וְאָמַרְתָּ, שְׁמַע דְּבַר-ה’, מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה, הַיֹּשֵׁב עַל-כִּסֵּא

דָוִד:  אַתָּה וַעֲבָדֶיךָ וְעַמְּךָ, הַבָּאִים בַּשְּׁעָרִים הָאֵלֶּה. 

 ג כֹּה אָמַר ה’, עֲשׂוּ מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה, וְהַצִּילוּ גָזוּל, מִיַּד עָשׁוֹק; וְגֵר יָתוֹם

וְאַלְמָנָה אַל-תֹּנוּ, אַל-תַּחְמֹסוּ…   ד  כִּי אִם-עָשׂוֹ תַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת-הַדָּבָר

הַזֶּה—וּבָאוּ בְשַׁעֲרֵי הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה מְלָכִים יֹשְׁבִים לְדָוִד עַל-כִּסְאוֹ…

ה  וְאִם לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ ..-בִּי נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי נְאֻם-ה’, כִּי-לְחָרְבָּה יִהְיֶה הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה.

H. To “know God” – according to Yirmiyahu

In his ensuing rebuke of King Yehoyakim:

יג הוֹי בֹּנֶה בֵיתוֹ בְּלֹא-צֶדֶק, וַעֲלִיּוֹתָיו בְּלֹא מִשְׁפָּט…

.  טו הֲתִמְלֹךְ, כִּי אַתָּה מְתַחֲרֶה בָאָרֶז; אָבִיךָ הֲלוֹא אָכַל וְשָׁתָה, וְעָשָׂה

מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה–אָז, טוֹב לוֹ.  טז דָּן דִּין-עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן, אָז טוֹב;

הֲלוֹא-הִיא הַדַּעַת אֹתִי, נְאֻם-ה’.

The words of the Hemek Davar:

בקרית ארבע. לפי הפשט הוא אדון העיר או בונה העיר. אבל הרי נזכר כ״פ חברון ולא נזכר שם הלז. מזה יצא דרשת חז״ל כונה שניה כפרש״י ומשום זה היתה סיבה מן השמים שתמות בחברון אע״ג שהיתה דירתה עם אברהם בבאר שבע כמבואר גם אחר העקידה וישב אברהם בבאר שבע. וגם להלן כתיב ויצחק בא מבוא באר לחי רואי והוא יושב בארץ הנגב. והיינו באר שבע כדכתיב לעיל כ׳ א׳ ויסע משם אברהם ארצה הנגב. אבל שרה מתה באיזה סבה ממסבב הסבות בחברון. או כאשר שמעה מדבר העקידה הלכה אחרי אברהם ויצחק חיי רוחה ובאשר הלכו לארץ המוריה והוא ביהודה סמוך לחברון. באה לשם ומתה. וטעם סיבה זו מה׳ הוא באשר היתה קרית ארבע וע״כ הוא משום הדרש ששם ראוי להקבר ארבע אבות העולם. ואדה״ר היה הראשון לקבורה שם ואיש לא ידע מזה:

I emailed the below Torah to Rabbi Menachem Leibtag and he responded:

Thank you

and a very nice summary –

and it’s fine,

just one typo I found

This is in contract to Sedom… 

s/b in ‘contrast’ 

2)  Torah Vort:

Verse 23:5 says – וַיַּעֲנ֧וּ בְנֵי־חֵ֛ת אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֖ם לֵאמֹ֥ר לֽוֹ׃

The last two words of  לֵאמֹ֥ר לֽוֹ׃ are extra?

 The Hemek Dvar answers that they are not extra –

 לאמר לו. המה נתיישבו מה להשיב. ושלחו אחד מהם לאמר לו תשובתם. Meaning they talked about it among themselves and then sent a representative  to speak to Avrohom,   This does not seem to be a fully satisfying answer.  

Verse 23:8 says:

וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר אִתָּ֖ם לֵאמֹ֑ר אִם־יֵ֣שׁ אֶֽת־נַפְשְׁכֶ֗ם לִקְבֹּ֤ר אֶת־מֵתִי֙ מִלְּפָנַ֔י שְׁמָע֕וּנִי וּפִגְעוּ־לִ֖י בְּעֶפְר֥וֹן בֶּן־צֹֽחַר׃

and he said to them, “If it is your wish that I remove my dead for burial, you must agree to intercede for me with Ephron son of Zohar.

Rashi says:

פגעו לי. לְשוֹן בַּקָּשָׁה כְּמוֹ: אַל תִּפְגְּעִי בִּי (רות א’):

Translated as  –  ופגעו לי — This phrase signifies entreaty, as (Ruth 1:16) “Do not entreat (תפגעי) me”.

Rashi is telling us that the translation of וּפִגְעוּ־לִ֖י is not “introduce me to Ephron” , but rather they should request of  Ephron to  give the מְעָרַ֤ת הַמַּכְפֵּלָה֙ to me.  They were to make the sales pitch and not Avrohom, and this is what Onkelus says – 

וּמַלֵּיל עִמְּהוֹן לְמֵימָר אִם אִית רַעֲוָא בְנַפְשְׁכוֹן לְמִקְבַּר יָת מִיתִי מִן קֳדָמַי קַבִּילוּ מִנִּי וּבְעוּ לִי מִן עֶפְרוֹן בַּר צוֹחַר:

Insight – Avrohom did this very wisely.  He did not negotiate with Efron directly.  He asked the people of Ches to talk to Ephron, they should convince Ephon should sell his field to Avrohoim.  Avrohom gave ownership in what Avrohom wanted to the people of Ches, so that they will convince Eforn to sell.  This would make it easier for Avrohom to purchase the field.   This is a beautiful negotiation tactic to get buy-in from those around you.

Vort 3)

Verse 23:9

וְיִתֶּן־לִ֗י אֶת־מְעָרַ֤ת הַמַּכְפֵּלָה֙ אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בִּקְצֵ֣ה שָׂדֵ֑הוּ בְּכֶ֨סֶף מָלֵ֜א יִתְּנֶ֥נָּה לִ֛י בְּתוֹכְכֶ֖ם לַאֲחֻזַּת־קָֽבֶר׃

Let him sell me the cave of Machpelah that he owns, which is at the edge of his land. Let him sell it to me, at the full price, for a burial site in your midst.”

Rashi says:  המכפלה. בַּית וַעֲלִיָּה עַל גַּבָּיו. דָּ”אַ שֶׁכְּפוּלָה בְּזוּגוֹת (עירובין נ”ג

Rashi defines for us the word מכפלה as a cave that had two floors.

Rashbam:

מערת המכפלה – כל הבקעה קרויה מכפלה כמו: ככר הירדן וכן מוכיח לפנינו: שדה עפרון אשר 

במכפלה.

The Rashbam translates  הַמַּכְפֵּלָה֙ as the name of valley where Efron’s property was located.  Ephron’s cave was located in the area called מַּכְפֵּלָה֙.  Proof is that in 23:17 the Torah says וַיָּ֣קָם שְׂדֵ֣ה עֶפְר֗וֹן אֲשֶׁר֙ בַּמַּכְפֵּלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר לִפְנֵ֣י מַמְרֵ֑א .  This fits in beautifully with the Rashbam, the field located in Machpelah which is before Mamre stood .  .   .  But according to Rashi what does verse 17 mean.  If Macpelah is a cave, what is the field in the cave?

Flow of the Pesukim:

 Avrohom tells Efron in Verse 9,  I want to purchase your cave.  Eforn answers in Verse  11 s and says I will give you the field and also the cave in it (the field).  Seemingly Efron is being magnanimous by saying you can not only have the cave but I will give you the entire field.  In verse 13 Avrohom responds to Efrorn’s offer and says I will purchase the field.  I really do not want it as a gift because all I need is the cave.  I will pay for your generous offer of the field and the cave will be a gift to me.  This is what Avrohom says, “I will purchase the field”. Avrohom does not mention the cave because Avrohom understood that Efron was offering the field because Efron really wanted to be paid.     Avrohom thus responded and said I will purchase the field and the cave is a throw in.  This gave Efron cover because he initially said to Avrohom in front of the people of Ches,  Avorhom responded in verse 13 by saying I will buy the field and the cave is really a free bonus to me.  Ephfron can appear magnanimous to his people while getting the  money he wanted.   

With this we can answer another question.  Verse 23:16 – וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָהָם֮ אֶל־עֶפְרוֹן֒ וַיִּשְׁקֹ֤ל אַבְרָהָם֙ לְעֶפְרֹ֔ן אֶת־הַכֶּ֕סֶף אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֶּ֖ר בְּאָזְנֵ֣י בְנֵי־חֵ֑ת אַרְבַּ֤ע מֵאוֹת֙ שֶׁ֣קֶל כֶּ֔סֶף עֹבֵ֖ר לַסֹּחֵֽר.

The Torah did not need to say וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָהָם֮.  The pasuk could have left these two words out and started with וַיִּשְׁקֹ֤ל אַבְרָהָם֙ לְעֶפְרֹ֔ן and the pasuk would have made perfect sense.  Now with what I said,  the וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָהָם֮  is needed and makes sense, וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָהָם֮ means he listened and understood that Ephron wanted to be compensated for the cave, but was in a bind because the people of Ches did say we will give you a burial spot for free.   This Is what Ephron was really requesting.    Avrohom understood that the out for Ephron was that Avrohom will purchase the field, which was never asked for,  and makes sense that Avrohom should purchase.  Epron throws in the cave for free and  appears to be a generous man, and everyone is happy.  

Now we can explain verse 17 –   וַיָּ֣קָם ׀ שְׂדֵ֣ה עֶפְר֗וֹן אֲשֶׁר֙ בַּמַּכְפֵּלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר לִפְנֵ֣י מַמְרֵ֑א הַשָּׂדֶה֙ וְהַמְּעָרָ֣ה אֲשֶׁר־בּ֔וֹ וְכָל־הָעֵץ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּשָּׂדֶ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּכָל־גְּבֻל֖וֹ סָבִֽיב׃

Based on my above Torah that Avrohom was only purchasing the field and the rest were throw-ins the Pasuk makes sense. Why did the Pasuk say שְׂדֵ֣ה twice?  Because  Avrohom acquired the field as that was their sales agreement and by acquiring the field he acquired (the following) the field, the cave, and the trees. 

Based on this I would prefer the Artscroll translation over Sefaria.

 Sefaria translates this Pasuk as –  “So Ephron’s land in Machpelah, near Mamre—the field with its cave and all the trees anywhere within the confines of that field—passed.”

Artscroll translates Verse 17 as “And Ephron’s field, that was in Machpelah that was facing Mamre “stood” – the field, and the cave within it and all the trees in the field , within its entire boundary all around.”

The Bais Halevi says something similar to my Torah:

ויתן לי את מערת המכפלה אשר בקצה שדהו גו’, השדה נתתי לך והמערה אשר בו לך נתתיה. הנה אברהם לא ביקש רק המערה כי רק היא לבד נצרכה לו אז ואמר לו אשר בקצה שדהו כאומר כי לא יתקלקל השדה ע”י מכירת המערה יען כי המערה היא בקצה השדה, ועפרון השיב לו במרמה כי נותן לו במתנה השדה והמערה ובזה הראה לדעת דע”י לקיחת המערה גם השדה תקולקל ע”י דריסת הרגל וע”כ אמר כי נותן לו במתנה גם את השדה. ואברהם הבין כוונתו ואמר לו אם אתה שמעני נתתי כסף השדה. דישלם לו דמי כל השדה ובה הרי נכלל גם המערה אשר בקצהו: 

Vort 4)  Rabbi Efrem Goldberg in his weekly Chumash Shiur.

 וַתָּ֣מָת שָׂרָ֗ה בְּקִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע הִ֥וא חֶבְר֖וֹן בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וַיָּבֹא֙ אַבְרָהָ֔ם לִסְפֹּ֥ד לְשָׂרָ֖ה וְלִבְכֹּתָֽהּ׃ 

Rashi:  לספוד לשרה ולבכתה. וְנִסְמְכָה מִיתַת שָׂרָה לַעֲקֵדַת יִצְחָק לְפִי שֶׁעַל יְדֵי בְּשׂוֹרַת הָעֲקֵדָה, שֶׁנִּזְדַּמֵּן בְּנָהּ לִשְׁחִיטָה וְכִמְעַט שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁחַט, פָּרְחָה נִשְׁמָתָהּ מִמֶּנָּה וּמֵתָה

Rabbi Yisroel Meir Druk askes why did Rashi choose to say that the עֲקֵדַת was tied into Sarah’s death only when he came to eulogize and cry for his wife.  Rashi should have said iron the first asuk or the the first half of this pasuk.  Rabbi Druk answers that the test of the עֲקֵדַת continued even after sarah died.  How would Avrohom react.  Would he regret performing the Akedah or would he take it with faith in God and never question.  Even though Avrohom did the right thing, something bad happened.  Avrohom showed that he understood that the reason why Sarah died is because it was her time to die, not the Akedah.  Rabbi Druk also used this to explain why Avorhom eulogized Sarah and then cried.  Had he cried first, people would think that Avrohom possibly regarded listening to God and maybe he should have pushed back.  Thereof Avrohom first eulogized her, told over her sterling ife,  and  only then did he cry.  People would understand that he was crying over the loss of his great wife.

The final test of Avrohom was not the Akedah,  but the final test was his negotiations with Eforn.  Would Avrohom lose his cool with a petty and a bad fatih person.  Avrohom did not and passed the test.  

Friday November 6, 2020: Torah on Parshas VaYera

This Torah is written in Bubbi Blanche’s Apartment for a Refuah Shelaima for Bubbi – Blima Bas Zelda Baila.

Vort #1)  The story of Avrohom continues.  At the beginning of the Parsha it was three days after the circumcision and God came to visit Avrohom.   Three days earlier God changed Avrohom’s and Sarah’s names.  To Avrohom God added a “hey” and to Sarah he removed a “Yud” and replaced it with a “Hey”.

Both new names tell us a change in both of them.  They will become or maybe they already have become world figures, meaning that their influence will be felt over the entire world.  Avrohom will be the Av – father of the entire world and Sarah will be the princess over the entire world.   It seems that names have an influence on someone’s life.  By the Bris Ben HaBisarim, on the Pasuk Bereshis 15:5 Rashi says that based on astrology – nature Avrom cannot have kids, but Avrohom will be able to have kids.  God directs Avrohom to name his future son “Yitzchok”, and previously Hagar to name her kid “Yishmael” so we see that names are significant.  Avrrohom called Yishmael by the name God had instructed Hagar.  This shows Avrohom being intertwined with God.  It is as if he instinctively knew God’s thoughts.  

Vort #2)    Verse 18:2 – 

וַיִּשָּׂ֤א עֵינָיו֙ וַיַּ֔רְא וְהִנֵּה֙ שְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה אֲנָשִׁ֔ים נִצָּבִ֖ים עָלָ֑יו וַיַּ֗רְא וַיָּ֤רָץ לִקְרָאתָם֙ מִפֶּ֣תַח הָאֹ֔הֶל וַיִּשְׁתַּ֖חוּ אָֽרְצָה׃

Translation of Sefaria:  Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them and, bowing to the ground

Translation of Artscroll:  He lifted his eyes and saw: And behold three men were standing before him.  He saw, and he ran toward them from the entrance of the tent, and bowed toward the ground. 

Translation is important and reading words properly are important.  The Torah uses the word   וְהִנֵּה֙ – and behold.  Sefaria ignores the   וְהִנֵּה֙ and also ignores the second  וַיַּ֗רְא.

I believe even Artscoll who acknowledges the word וְהִנֵּה֙ and translates it “behold” cannot convey the full meaning of the word וְהִנֵּה֙ – this word animates the scene.

The Torah uses the word וְהִנֵּה֙ .    This word paints the scene for us, we can feel what Avrohom felt, and not only that we can picture ourselves in the tent with Avrohom.  Picture the scene – Avrohom was looking out and saw nothing.  All of a sudden it seems out of nowhere, three men appear.  An excitement flows through his body, joy spreads through him, which calls Avrohom to action.  We all have had this experience.  Looking up and unexpectedly seeing a relative, a friend, and we are full of emotion.  

Rashi – נצבים עליו. לְפָנָיו, אֲבָל לָשׁוֹן נְקִיָּה הוּא כְּלַפֵּי הַמַּלְאָכִים:

Rashi uses the word נְקִיָּה.  Artscoll does say clean but adds i.e. respectful. Sefaria is similar and translates Rashi as, “ this is a more fitting expression to use of angels.”    However, the word in the Rashi is נְקִיָּה and not  כבוד.   I think that Rashi is telling us something more, two possible explanations.

1)  When we show proper respect and use proper speech, we are clean, we are uplifted.  We become a better person, someone more refined.`

2)  When we speak properly towards Hashem and his representatives in this world we bring God down into this world, we bring Holiness into this world.       I believe that Rashi can also be expanded to include when we glorify Hashen, we bring holiness into our world.

This I believe is what the Kotzker meant when he said, my job is to bring God into this world, perhaps based on this Rashi.

I have to look up the Kotzher for the exact words that were used.  

Vort 3)  Chapter 18 Verse 10:

There is a difference between Rashi and Orach Chaim HaKodeh how to translate the pronouns of וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו in the following Verse”

                               וַיֹּ֗אמֶר שׁ֣וֹב אָשׁ֤וּב אֵלֶ֙יךָ֙ כָּעֵ֣ת חַיָּ֔ה וְהִנֵּה־בֵ֖ן לְשָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתֶּ֑ךָ וְשָׂרָ֥ה שֹׁמַ֛עַת פֶּ֥תַח הָאֹ֖הֶל וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו

Then one said, “I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him.

Rashi translates וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו  like the above which is both like Sefaria and Artscroll as follows:

                                                                                                           והוא אחריו. הַפֶּתַח הָיָה אַחַר הַמַּלְאָךְ:  

The Orach Chaim HaKodesh translates    והוא אחריו slightly differently, as follows:

ושרה שומעת מודיע הכתוב כי הבשורה לשרה בשרו כמאמר ה’ בשליחות, והוא אומרו ושרה שומעת וגו‘ והוא המבשר אחריו. וראיתי במדרש כי אף על פי כן נתיסר המלאך על אשר לא דבר הבשורה מפיו אליה ודבר לאברהם, והמלאכים יענשו על השוגג ועל שנוי כל שהוא:

Orach Chaim – And he (the angel) was behind the tent.

Rashi:              And the tent was behind him (the angel.)

 The question is does it make a difference whether we translate as Rashi or as the Orach Chaim?  Perhaps not, but there is a major question, the words of  והוא אחריו are completely extra.  The Posuk said that she was listening, so what do these two words add?

I do not have an answer for this question.

Vort 4)  This was sent out in an email  on November 7, 2020:

Guten Motzei Shabbos.  I offer this Torah in honor and memory of our two great leaders who passed away this weekend.  Rabbi Dovid Feinstien and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.  I am listening to Rabbi Shlomo Calrbach’s Selichos, Ashrei and Kadish.  Beautiful.

Over Shabbos I asked a question on Pasuk 18:10 on the needs for two words of   והוא אחריו 

וַיֹּ֗אמֶר שׁ֣וֹב אָשׁ֤וּב אֵלֶ֙יךָ֙ כָּעֵ֣ת חַיָּ֔ה וְהִנֵּה־בֵ֖ן לְשָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתֶּ֑ךָ וְשָׂרָ֥ה שֹׁמַ֛עַת פֶּ֥תַח הָאֹ֖הֶל וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו׃

Then one said, “I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him.

There is a major question, the words of  והוא אחריו are completely extra.  Thee Posuk said that she was listening, so what do these two words add.

We can perhaps answer based on a  beautiful Orach Chaim translated as follows:

ושרה שומעת מודיע הכתוב כי הבשורה לשרה בשרו כמאמר ה’ בשליחות, והוא אומרו ושרה שומעת וגו‘ והוא המבשר אחריו. וראיתי במדרש כי אף על פי כן נתיסר המלאך על אשר לא דבר הבשורה מפיו אליה ודבר לאברהם, והמלאכים יענשו על השוגג ועל שנוי כל שהוא:

“And Sarah was listening” –  the Pasuk is telling us that  the news (of the impending birth) was delivered as Hashem wanted, and that is why the Verse says, “she was listening at the entrance of the tent and he was beyond her,” meaning  the angel made his announcement in close proximity to her so she can hear.  This is the first half of the Orach Chaim. 

But it is still difficult because the Torah said that she was listening, so why does it say “he was behind her”.

The Orach Chaim Hakodesh continues and brings in a Medresh.

 וראיתי במדרש כי אף על פי כן נתיסר המלאך על אשר לא דבר הבשורה מפיו אליה ודבר לאברהם, והמלאכים יענשו על השוגג ועל שנוי כל שהוא

Translated as –  (Although the commandment of Hashem was delivered)  the angels were punished for not delivering  the news directly to her, but through speaking to Avrohom.  Angels are punished even for unintentional errors and for even the slightest deviation from what they were sent to do.  (Artscroll).    Meaning the commandment from Hashem was to speak to her directly and they did not do this.

What happened because of their slight deviation and what was the punishment?

I propose as follows:

In verse 18:9 the angels asked where is Sarah?  Meaning they wanted to fulfil their mission of delivering the impending birth to Sarah directly.  Avrohom tersely says, she is in the tent.  Meaning there is no need for her to come out, she can hear from the tent.  The angels should have responded, we need her to come out because our mission is to deliver this message of  great news, directly to her, however, words fail them.  This is like you are in a meeting with your boss about something important and  your boss says something that is a roadblock, and you do not get your way.    Words fail you and afterwards you kick yourself that you did not respond properly and you could have responded property to deflect the roadblock and possibly gotten your way.   This happened to me plenty of times when I was presenting in front of loan committee at the bank.

Verse 10 continues and says that they fulfilled their mission by telling Avrohom the news, with Sarah listening.   The Torah tells us    וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו.    These words are extra to convey that the angel did not fulfill his mission properly because he was behind her, he did not deliver the news directly to her.   

What happened as a result? Verses 11, 12, and 13.  Sarah laughed in derision.  Had he told her directly she would have seen the intensity in his and the other angels eyes, their body language, their Godliness, and would have been overjoyed and it would have been a different laughter, just like Avrohom’s laughter in Verse 17:17.  In Kotzk, Torah had to be given over in the presence of the Rebbe and student.  That is why they never committed Torah to writing.

This is the result of not listening and fulfilling Hashem’s instructions 100%,  even this slight deviation caused Sarah to say something improper and to be embarrassed.  

Perhaps you can say that this is their  punishment of their actions.  They assumed that Sarah would be happy and even if she reacted as she did,  they did not think it would be an issue.  She was a very righteous person, full of charity,  and one misplaced emotion would not be an issue, and would not be brought up to her to embarrass her.  However, it did cause embarrassment and they were the cause of Sarah’s embarrassment.  Imagine if one of us unintentionally caused problems and embarrassment for someone, we would have a week of sleepless nights.   There are plenty of Midrashim that speak of the  emotions of angels.   Especially the angel here who is one of the big four.   

This is what the Orach Chaim HaKodesh means to convey and what the words of  והוא אחריו  tell us.  

Vort 5)   Another lesson from the Torah that when you have great news as Avromon did about having a son and he could have told Sarah, Hashem still  wanted to be the one to deliver the joyous news.  Tell great news directly, not through a third party for obvious reasons.   The joy is magnified.   

Vort 6)   Chapter 18 Verse 9:

 וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֵׄלָׄ֔יׄוׄ אַיֵּ֖ה שָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתֶּ֑ךָ וַיֹּ֖אמֶר הִנֵּ֥ה בָאֹֽהֶל׃

When does is use the word to refer to Sarah’s tent as בָאֹֽהֶל and not  אֹ֖הֱלָה   as in 18:6 וַיְמַהֵ֧ר אַבְרָהָ֛ם הָאֹ֖הֱלָה אֶל־שָׂרָ֑ה .  .  . 

Vort 7)  Chapter 18 Verse 10:

 וַיֹּ֗אמֶר שׁ֣וֹב אָשׁ֤וּב אֵלֶ֙יךָ֙ כָּעֵ֣ת חַיָּ֔ה וְהִנֵּה־בֵ֖ן לְשָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתֶּ֑ךָ וְשָׂרָ֥ה שֹׁמַ֛עַת פֶּ֥תַח הָאֹ֖הֶל וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו׃ 

  Why did the Torah describe Sarah’s tent as being behind them.  It was a separate tent.  Verse 18:6 seems to imply that Sarah has a separate tent, but this and the previous Verse may seem to suggest that it was one tent, with dividers.  Either way this is not a relevant point and off subject.

Vort 8)   Chapter 18 Verses 13, 14, and 15:

וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֑ם לָ֣מָּה זֶּה֩ צָחֲקָ֨ה שָׂרָ֜ה לֵאמֹ֗ר הַאַ֥ף אֻמְנָ֛ם אֵלֵ֖ד וַאֲנִ֥י זָקַֽנְתִּי׃

הֲיִפָּלֵ֥א מֵיְהוָ֖ה דָּבָ֑ר לַמּוֹעֵ֞ד אָשׁ֥וּב אֵלֶ֛יךָ כָּעֵ֥ת חַיָּ֖ה וּלְשָׂרָ֥ה בֵֽן׃

וַתְּכַחֵ֨שׁ שָׂרָ֧ה ׀ לֵאמֹ֛ר לֹ֥א צָחַ֖קְתִּי כִּ֣י ׀ יָרֵ֑אָה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר ׀ לֹ֖א כִּ֥י צָחָֽקְתְּ׃ 

  1.  Why ambush Sarah?  She was a righteous woman and even if she slipped up here, her emotions got the better of her.  Why call her out?   
  2. God is the one who told Avrohom that Sarah laughed?  They were having a meal and God tells Avrohom, your wife laughed?  Seems odd.  
  3. Rashi said that Hashem changed the words of Sarah from “my husband is old” to “I am  old”.  However, Sarah effectively said that she is old in Verse 12  וַתִּצְחַ֥ק שָׂרָ֖ה בְּקִרְבָּ֣הּ לֵאמֹ֑ר אַחֲרֵ֤י בְלֹתִי֙ הָֽיְתָה־לִּ֣י עֶדְנָ֔ה וַֽאדֹנִ֖י זָקֵֽן׃ .   Say it was an omission, not a change of words.  Technically yes, but in verse 12  she meant that I am old. Verse 11 basically said the same thing as a narrator.  וְאַבְרָהָ֤ם וְשָׂרָה֙ זְקֵנִ֔ים בָּאִ֖ים בַּיָּמִ֑ים חָדַל֙ לִהְי֣וֹת לְשָׂרָ֔ה אֹ֖רַח כַּנָּשִֽׁים׃.