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.

Print this page Print this page

The servant of Abraham came in and explained his mission. “I am a servant of Abraham. God has blessed my master exceedingly so that he has become great. He is rich with animals and money and servants. Sarah, my master’s wife, bore him a son, and to this son Abraham will give everything. He asked me to leave Canaan to find a wife from among his kinsman. Abraham told me that the God to Whom he is a servant will send an angel and help me find the proper wife for his son.

“So I came to the well and waited to see if a woman might give me water and offer my camels water too. Rebekah came immediately and graciously did so. I blessed God for sending Rebekah to me and my master. Now, tell me if you wish to deal in loving-kindness and truth with my master so that I may know what to do.”

Permission From Father

Laban and his father, Bethuel, said, “The matter has come forth from God. Take Rebekah and go as God has spoken.”

When the servant of Abraham heard their words, he bowed low before God and brought forth articles of gold and silver for Rebekah and delicious fruits for her family. He stayed with the family overnight. The next morning the family asked that Rebekah stay with them for a while, but Abraham’s servant said to them, “Do not delay me, since God has caused my journey to prosper.”

They then called for Rebekah and asked her if she would go with this man. “I will go,” she said. Then they sent Rebekah away with a blessing, “Become the mother of thousands of ten thousands and may your offspring seize the gate of your enemies.”

Now Isaac was meditating in the field when he saw camels coming. Rebekah took her veil and covered herself. The servant told Isaac all that had occurred. Then Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother, Sarah. He married Rebekah and he loved her, and only then was Isaac comforted by the loss of his mother.

Abraham took another wife, Keturah. She bore him six sons, and those sons begot more sons, but all that Abraham had, he gave to Isaac.

To the new wife’s children, he gave them gifts and sent them away. Later, Abraham died satisfied at the age of 175. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Makhpelah where his wife Sarah was buried.

It came to pass that after Abraham died, God blessed his son Isaac. Isaac dwelt near the well of “The-Living-One-Who-Sees-Me.”

The descendants of Hagar, who bore Abraham’s son Ishmael, are listed. Ishmael had 12 princes, listed according to their tribes. Ishmael died at 137 years. His people lived near Egypt.

Questions For Discussion

1. Why did Abraham want to bury Sarah “out of his sight?” Why do traditional Jews still bury people in graveyards today rather than “within our sight?”

2. The servant of Abraham comes up with a test at the well to find the wife for Isaac. Do you ever come up with tests for people to pass? Give an example. What do your tests reveal about yourself and about them?

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Nancy Reuben Greenfield

Nancy Reuben Greenfield has written three adaptations of the Torah, including an
interactive family version at www.TiptoeThroughTheTorah.com, and an engaging
Jewish immigrant novel, The Golden Medina, available on itunes and Amazon.