Torah Portion Chayei Sarah
Chayei Sarah is Hebrew for "The life of
Sarah." The irony is: it deals with the death of Sarah.
Synopsis: Abraham negotiates with Ephron the Hittite to purchase a burial site for his departed wife, Sarah. This is the first negotiation for land in Canaan by a Hebrew. Abraham pays an exorbitant amount of money (400 shekels at a time when the average annual salary is 8 shekels). But he gets the Cave of the Machpeleh for his dead ones (not just his wife) and the cultic grove, the mystical Oak Trees of Mamre that are part of the land. The second part of this Torah portion is another negotiation, this time for a bride for Abraham and Sarah’s son Isaac. Abraham sends his servant to Haran to find the ideal wife. The servant sees Rebecca, makes her and her family the offer for her to marry Isaac, and she accepts. Rebecca returns to Canaan with the servant and she lives in Sarah’s tent with Isaac.
Abraham marries Keturah and they have six sons. When Abraham dies at the age of 175, Isaac and Ishmael bury him the Cave of the Machpelah next to Sarah.