𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐡 𝐏𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐛𝐛𝐚𝐭 𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟗, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐
𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐲𝐞𝐢 𝐒𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐡 (Sarah’s life —Chaye Sarah, Hayye Sarah, or Hayyei Sara, חַיֵּי שָׂרָה — Hebrew for “life of Sarah,” the first words in the parashah) is the fifth weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual cycle of Torah reading. It constitutes Genesis 23:1–25:18. The parashah tells the stories of Abraham’s negotiations to purchase a burial place for his wife Sarah and his servant’s mission to find a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac. The portion is made up of 5,314 Hebrew letters, 1,402 Hebrew words, 105 verses, and 171 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah). It is read on the fifth Sabbath after Simchat Torah, generally in November, or on rare occasion in late October.
𝐑𝐞𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐓𝐨 𝐁𝐞 𝐂𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐧 𝐛𝐲 𝐘𝐚𝐡𝐰𝐞𝐡 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐆𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬: 𝐒𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞 & 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭
The passage for this week’s Torah portion is called Chayei Sarah-The Life of Sarah by many scholars.
In this week’s Torah portion we see the death of one dynasty and the beginning of a new one. Sarah and Abraham pass away and are gathered to their ancestors and Isaac and Rebekah are united in a divinely orchestrated marriage. In order for the covenant that Yahweh entered into with Abraham to be passed on to Isaac as the son of promise he would need to marry a woman from his bloodline because she would worship Yahweh and not the idols of the land. For this Torah Portion reflection I would like to focus on Rebekah and what she can teach us about being available for the blessings of Yahweh. If we look at Genesis 24:12-14 we see Abraham’s servant Eliezer (whose name means “My Elohim will help”) was sent on a mission to find a wife for Isaac who would not be a woman of idolatry but a woman of Yahweh. Eliezer prays that this woman would not be beautiful, not be quiet, not be a good cook, but be a woman who was willing to serve him and his camels water.
What we should know about fetching water is that the water were gallons and very heavy so this would be no easy act of service. 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐬𝐚𝐲 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐥 𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝟏𝟒 𝐠𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐀𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐡𝐚𝐦’𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝟏𝟎 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐥𝐬 𝐬𝐨 𝐑𝐞𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐜𝐚 𝐟𝐞𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝟏𝟒𝟎 𝐠𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫!
This is in addition to the pitcher of water she gave to Eliezer. Why didn’t Abraham’s servant make beauty, or modesty or a nice personality the requirement for Isaac’s wife? Why did he make her ability to fetch gallons of water the sign that she was to be the woman to help Isaac continue to the covenant? One for Rebekah to step into the role of not only a wife but a Matriarch who would give birth to the line that would produce the 12 Tribes of Israel she would need to be a woman of service and care. Jacob the youngest son of Rebecca and Isaac would have his name changed to Israel and he along with his wives and handmaidens would give birth to the 12 Tribes of Israel.
In Hebrew the characteristic Abraham’s servant wanted Isaac’s wife to possess was the word Chesed meaning loving kindness and mercy, we see this term again in Genesis 39:21 when we read that Yahweh showed lovingkindness to Joseph. Chesed is also one of the fruits of the Ruach Ha’kodesh (Holy Spirit). The fact that the woman who was to be Issac’s wife had to show loving kindness to a complete stranger shows that her character needed to be extremely virtuous. Furthermore, Rebekah was willing to drop everything she knew to join Isaac as his wife though she never laid eyes on him which points to her trust for the circumstances Yahweh brought into her life. Rebekah could drop everything and go to a land she didn’t know like her Father-In Law Abraham because she could discern the voice of Yahweh in the marriage proposal. This gift of discernment would lead Rebekah to notice that she had two nations wrestling in her womb (Genesis 25:23) and that Jacob was the child of promise who should continue the covenant. Without a spirit of service and the gift of discernment Rebekah would not be the woman who could help Isaac continue the covenant Yahweh gave to Abraham.
𝐑𝐞𝐛𝐞𝐤𝐚𝐡 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐅𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐧 𝐋𝐚𝐰 𝐀𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐡𝐚𝐦:
1. She leaves all she knows to travel to another land after hearing a call. Abraham heard the call directly from Yahweh (Genesis 12:1). Rebekah heard the call from Yahweh through the servant of Arvaham.
2. The blessing Rebekah’s family gives to her is very similar to the blessing Abraham receives from Yahweh after being willing to sacrifice Isaac:
“That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.”-Genesis 22:17
Rebekah’s family blessed her by saying: “You are our sister, be the mother of thousands, of millions, and let your descendants possess the gate of those who hate them.” -Genesis 24:60
Rebekah is a model for anyone who wants to be used by Yahweh in a mighty way. She had a heart to serve and she had the gift of discernment to know when Yahweh was calling her. I don’t think Rebekah went to marry Isaac because she heard a wedding proposal from Abraham’s servant but I believe she went because she heard a proposal from Yahweh to her spirit. Without a heart of service and the spirit of discernment we won’t be able to answer Yahweh’s call for our lives. Many opportunities to serve will come but if we are too self absorbed to notice them we may miss a divine proposal. Many proposals may come our way but it is the spirit of discernment that lets us know when to drop everything to accept a proposal for marriage, a proposal for a business opportunity, a proposal for ministry service or an any life-changing opportunity. The spirit of discernment will also let us know which proposals we should say no to. Rebekah can teach us a great deal about the characteristics we need to develop to become apart of what Yah lash is doing in the world: service and discernment it is only with these characteristics that we can be used by Yahweh in a mighty way.
𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐓𝐨 𝐆𝐨 𝐃𝐞𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐫:
1. This week how will you serve others?
2. Are there opportunities you have been presented with but don’t know if you should take? Pray for Yahweh through the Ruach Hakodesh (Set Apart Spirit) to give you discernment to know which opportunities to accept and which to reject.
3. In what ways was Abraham’s Servant Eliezer acting similar to the way the Ruach Ha’Kodesh acts in our lives?
4. Adonai has a pattern of important men and women meeting at wells or other bodies of water (Rebekah and Abraham’s Servant, Moses and Zipporah, Yahshua and the Woman at the Well) study this pattern and let me know what you find out about Yahweh, Women and Wells?
𝐋𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐲𝐞𝐢 𝐒𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐡 𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐓𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐡 𝐏𝐨𝐝𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐤’𝐬 𝐓𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐡 𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.
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𝐀𝐯𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐞! 𝐋𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟖: 𝐒𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐡 𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐀𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐇𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐜 𝐖𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐒𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝟐
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