This Week's Torah Reading

Recited in synagogues all over the world, this week's Torah portion, Genesis Chapter 23, is titled "Chaye Sarah" - the life span of Judaism's First Matriarch.  It's about an intimate family event:  Sarah dies. She is mourned by Abraham. He buys a plot of land for her burial.  Yet, its significance extends deep, far and wide over nearly four millennia.  Because "Chaye Sarah" also marks the beginning of Zionism. To reach this conclusion, we need  only examine the biblical text.  Abraham buys a burial site for Sarah from Ephron, a Hittite, for 400 shekels of silver after rejecting Ephron's offer of an outright gift. Abraham insists on a duly sealed deed for the land in perpetuity.  Or as "Chaye Sarah" puts it:  "So the field of Ephron, which was Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the border thereof round about, were...(Read Full Post)