Haye Sarah: A Summary of the Parashah
Following the death of Sarah, Abraham purchases a burial plot and sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac.
The following article is reprinted with permission from Jewish Family & Life!
Sarah dies at 127 years of age in Hebron in the land of Canaan. Abraham mourns her, then asks property owners there to grant him burial space so that he may bury his dead out of his sight. Knowing that Abraham is ennobled by God, they are willing to give Abraham the choicest land, but Abraham insists on paying for it. Only then does Abraham bury his wife in the cave of Machpelah in the land of Canaan.
Feeling old, Abraham decides to find a wife for his son Isaac. He says to his eldest servant, “Swear by God, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not take a wife from among the Canaanites, but that you shall go to my homeland and take a wife from among my kindred.”
The servant says, “What if the woman will not want to follow me into this land? Shall I have your son go there?”
Abraham responds, “Take heed that you do not bring my son back there! God, Who took me from my father’s house, will send an angel before you. If the woman should not want to go with you, then you will be free from this oath.”
The servant swore to Abraham this oath and took 10 camels and some of his master’s finest things and journeyed to the city of Nahor. He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the water well at the time of evening when the women come to draw water.
Feed My Camels!
And the servant said, “Let it come to pass that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please tilt your pitcher so that I may drink,’ will respond with, ‘Drink and I will give your camels water too.’"
The servant had hardly finished speaking when Rebekah, a descendant of Abraham’s brother, came down to the well and filled her pitcher. Abraham’s servant ran to meet her, saying, “Let me please sip a little water from your pitcher.” “Drink,” she said. “Then I will draw water for your camels too.” As she did so, the servant kept on gazing upon her in wonderment, holding his peace to know whether God had caused his journey to prosper or not.
Only after the camels had finished drinking did the servant take a valuable ring of gold and two golden bracelets and ask, “Whose daughter are you and is there room in your father’s house for us to stay overnight?”
"Yes, come stay,” Rebekah said after she explained her lineage.
The servant bowed his head and prostrated himself before God, saying, “Blessed be God, the God of my master Abraham.”
Rebekah then ran and told her mother what had happened by the well. Now, Rebekah had a brother, Laban, and Laban, seeing the gifts of gold on his sister, went to greet the man and invited him to come into the house.