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Thursday, November 12, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

R. Efraim Eliezer was an influential rabbi in Philadelphia who enjoyed a close relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, with whom he corresponded regularly. He would often pay a visit to the Rebbe in conjunction with Sukkot, Passover, and/or Shavuot, quoting the Talmudic passage, “One must greet his teacher during the holiday.”

Link: Getting Some Sleep

Daily Thought

Of the 54 parshiot of the Five Books of Moses, only one is named after a woman. It is called “The Life of Sarah.”

It opens by informing us that Sarah has died.

Yes, this is the life of Sarah. Her true life. Because only in her passing was Sarah’s life fulfilled.

During her lifetime, she and her husband Abraham surveyed the land promised to their children. Only once Sarah died did Abraham make his first actual purchase, publicly and with full payment. Sarah’s burial plot and its accompanying field in Hebron mark the seminal point of the Land of Israel.

During her lifetime, Sarah had only one child, who remained single. From where would come the “offspring more numerous than the stars” that G‑d had promised? With Sarah’s passing, the match between Isaac and Rebecca was made, a woman much like Sarah, through whom the Jewish people would become a reality.

During Sarah’s lifetime, Abraham was not able to guide Ishmael. By divine command, he was compelled to harken to Sarah, who witnessed Ishmael’s corruptive influence and demanded he be sent away. By the end of the parashah, Abraham is following in the ways of Sarah with the rest of his children. Even Ishmael has repented and accepted Isaac as the true heir of Abraham.

It was after Sarah’s passing that Abraham’s vision began to emerge into reality in this world—through the work of Sarah.

This is true life—a life not confined to the years of a physical body, but a life that becomes yet more real after it is released from those confines, and continues to be felt more and more with every year that passes.

Such is the life of a mother. While the rest of us live within a moment that has already disappeared, a mother gives life, nurtures life, and guides that life into eternity.

Likutei Sichot vol. 5, pg. 338b ff. Hitvaduyot 5745, vol. 1, pg. 129ff. See also Likutei Sichot vol. 15, pg. 145ff.