(Haftara: Kings I 1:1-31)
1. [23:1] “…100 years and 20 years and 7 years…” Rashi explains that the repetition of the word “years” comes to teach us that all of Sara’s life was a life of high quality–“all the years were equal in their goodness”. How does a Torah way of life show that we value a life of quality and goodness?
2. [23:4] “I am a stranger and a resident with you…” The Jews have often been both strangers to the culture in which they live, but also very entrenched within the country and culture where they live. How has this quality helped the Jewish people contribute to the advancement of the world?
3. [24:3] “I will make you swear by God, God of heaven and God of the earth…” [24:7] “God, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house…” Why does Avraham call God the “God of heaven and earth” in the first pasuk, and only “God of heaven” in the second pasuk?
4. [24:15] “…and behold, Rivkah came out…” There are many people who find the
story of Rivkah and Eliezer at the well to be an appealing and charming story.
What makes this story so charming?
5. [Kings1, 1:5] Then Adoniyya…exalted himself saying I will be king.” It seems that almost from the beginning of the Israelite Kings, there was intrigue and trouble. If so, why did God allow kings? What advantages are there to having a king and kingdom?
[24:1] “And God blessed Avraham with everything (“bakol”)”
A real “tzaddik” doesn’t only pray for himself—he prays for everyone. And even if he is blessed by Heaven, he doesn’t see it as a blessing unless everyone is also blessed. This is the meaning of “And God blessed Avraham with everything”. God blessed Avraham with the fact that everyone got a blessing. Only after everyone was blessed did Avraham consider himself blessed.
–R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev (1740-1810)
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim
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