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Dvar Torah - Chayei Sarah

This week we read one of the most forward-looking parshiyot. After Sarah dies, Avraham travels to Chevron to mourn and bury her. Immediately afterwards, the quest begins to find Yitzchak a wife capable of continuing the tradition of ethical monotheism that Avraham started. In due course, Avraham's servant, Rivkah was found, and she agreed to marry Yitzchak. The parsha is so forward-looking that it is easy to forget that sometimes we must look backwards as well.

While the parsha looks to the future and, as such, seems very happy, it begins with great sadness. Sarah has passed away. Avraham arrives in Chevron. Soon, we start his quest to purchase land to bury his wife and, in the process, lay legal claim to part of the Land of Israel forever. However, first, he must mourn and eulogise his wife. Before proceeding, he must live in that moment of sadness and crying.

When we face challenges, we are often told to move on, to get over it. We are taught that heroism is conquering our feelings and simply proceeding. Often, that is necessary to function. However, giving ourselves the space and time to experience our emotions and understand them is just as important. The lesson of this parsha is that a balanced person does not feel nothing. Instead he knows when his feelings must be let loose and when they must be more tightly controlled.

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