Article Parsha 2016-11-28

EXPLORATIONS 5777 Parashat Chayei Sarah The First Matriarch

Parashat Chayei Sarah marks the transition of the matriarchy from Sarah to Rivkah. A great deal of the narrative is devoted to the death and burial of Sarah on the one hand, and the search for a wife for Yitzchak on the other. Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt”l once noted that with the death of Sarah, “(Avraham) walks off the covenantal stage.”[1] Despite his relative longevity, after Sarah’s passing Avraham seems to “disappear:” He ceases to be a major player, and the mantle of leadership passes to Yitzchak — and Rivkah. Apparently, the partnership between Avraham and Sarah was such that the death of one causes the focus to shift away from the other. Theirs was a complete, total partnership, and Avraham was keenly aware of the nature and importance of this partnership. Therefore, as soon as the burial and mourning period ended, he set out to find a woman who could partner with Yitzchak in the same way.

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