Pearls of Rashi – Parshas Chayei Soroh

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This week’s Torah reading is called by the name Chayei Soroh, meaning “The Life of Soroh.” The apparent reason for this is because the portion begins by saying that[1] “The life of Soroh was one hundred years and twenty years. and seven years. These were the years of the life of Soroh.”

This, however, is difficult to understand. The entire Parshah is called by the name “The Life of Soroh,” hence, every part of this reading must focus on Soroh’s life. Despite this, we find that after telling us that Soroh lived for 127 years, the Torah says that[2] “Soroh died in Kiryas Arba, which is Chevron …” How can we reconcile the fact that we are told of Soroh’s passing at the beginning of a Parshah which is called by the name “The Life of Soroh?”

This can be explained as follows. The entire Torah portion does indeed discuss things that took place after our matriarch Soroh’s passing. Nonetheless, everything which took place due to her influence[3].

Among that which was influenced by Soroh’s life, was Avrohom’s search for a Shidduch, a proper match for his son Yitzchok. Immediately prior to beginning his quest, the Torah tells us that[4] “Avrohom was old, advanced in days. Hashem blessed Avrohom with everything.”

What exactly does it mean that Avrohom was blessed “with everything?” Rashi explains that “the words ‘with everything’ -בַּכֹּל in Hebrew, is numerically equal to the word ‘son’ – בֵּן in Hebrew; both equal 52. Since he had a son, he had to find a wife for him.”

What lesson can we learn from Rashi – why is it relevant that Hashem blessing Avrohom “with everything” is the equivalent of blessing him with a son? Avrohom was indeed blessed with everything. He was a wealthy man! There is no need to look for other blessings.

The explanation is, that among the obligations of a father to his son, is to marry him off. Rashi is telling us that it makes no difference whether the father is blessed with material wealth or not. Regardless, he must fulfill his obligation.

The same is true of all of one’s obligations; whether we feel up to the task or not. We must follow the example of Avrohom, thereby bringing Moshiach now.

Wishing one and all a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 5, Page 346

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י חתנו ובתו שיחיו
הרה”ת ר’ שמואל ורבקה שי’ מענדלסאהן

[1]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 23:1.

[2]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 23:2.

[3]. See Likkutei Sichos Volume 15, beginning with page 145 at length.

[4]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 24:2.

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