Chai Sarah

Chai Sarah means the Life of Sarah, yet this portion deals not with her life, but with her death.  Sarah died in Hebron and Abraham bought the place of her burial.  Today, the wives of Abraham, Isaac and of Jacob are all in this burial cave in Hebron.  The place is attended by a handful of devout Jewish men and women surrounded by thousands of Arabs who hate them and try ceaselessly to kill them and to drive them away.  Yet, in their faithfulness to honor the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs of faith, they stay.

The portion deals more with the finding of a wife for the son borne to Sarah as the next step in the story of the people of Israel.  In his old age, Abraham charged his most faithful servant, Eliezer, with the task of finding the right wife for Isaac.  He was to go back to the land from which Avram had come, so many years before and find there the one whom the L-rd had created to be his son's wife forever.  And so, Eliezer went, planning along the way just how he would know the right one.  As he entered the area, he stopped for water and was greeted by Rachel, the one whom G-d had fashioned from the earth to be the wife of Isaac and the second Matriarch of Israel.  She responded just as the L-rd had set into Eliezer's heart and her parents had, miraculously, become followers of the Living G-d, even in this place so far away from all that He was doing in Israel.  For when Eliezer told them how he had determined that Rachel was to be wed to his master, they replied, "surely this is of HaShem!"  You see, G-d can work in places and in ways so far beyond what we think or expect.  He is able to prepare our destiny without any help from us at all.  We must only seek Him and His way and we will surely find it.

The parashah ends with the death of Abraham and of Ishmael.  But Isaac was to live on and to raise up a people to follow after G-d with their whole hearts.  Or so he wished.

Keep praying.