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“And Avraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.” (23:2)

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In this parsha, the Torah portrays Avraham in the role of husband and father. Therefore, the message of this parsha is addressed to the entire Jewish family. We study the death of the first Jewish mother, Sarah, and Avraham’s struggle to locate an appropriate burial place for his beloved wife. Ultimately, he fulfills his wish and brings Sarah to a final resting place. Life continues. The Moreshes Moshe poignantly elaborates this concept. The mourner’s Kaddish is not only a prayer for the dead; it is a prayer for the living as well. tcr vhna ase,hu ksd,h – Even greater and more hallowed must Hashem’s Name become through the deeds and conduct of the living in this world. hs tnkgc

vh,ugrf trc- In this world which He created according to His will. A mere glance at these mysterious words reveals little reference to the other world to which the soul passes on. vh,ugrf trc hs tnkgc refers to this world which He (Hashem) created according to His will. The other world, olam ha’bah, is created according to man’s will. Ultimately we are rewarded or punished appropriately. As we earn it on earth, so do we receive it in Heaven.


In the world of the living, the name of Hashem should be ase,hu ksd,h, greater and more hallowed. Therefore, immediately after the brief account of Sarah’s demise and burial, the Torah continues to tell us of Avraham’s pursuit of his mission. The parsha ends with his eventual passing and burial next to his life partner. Sandwiched in between the deaths of the first Jewish mother and father is the beginning of the family life of their successor, Yitzchak. It was as thought the repose of their souls was dependent upon the establishment of his family. When Sarah died, Yitzchak was not at her side, as he was studying in the Yeshiva of Shem. Learning to recite Kaddish is important, but learning to live the ideals of Kaddish is even more important. The greatest gift of Kaddish is learning to reaffirm the faith of one’s parents, to reflect in one’s life his parent’s highest standards. This is what occupied Yitzchak when his mother’s mortal remains were lowered into the ground. In the ensuing years, the first Jewish son was not consoled until a suitable wife, who reflected his mother’s ideals, was found for him. The greatest memorial one can establish for a parent is a “living memorial.”

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