Parshah Columnists for Chayei Sarah

Guest Columnists
Shrouds Don't Have Pockets
Life Lessons From the Parshah
Making the Count of Our Days Count
Each day of our lives presents us with endless possibilities. We constantly stand at the crossroads of choice.
The Tree of Life
Oedipus, schmoedipus! When the Torah tells us that when Isaac married Rebecca and brought her home, "behold, it was Sarah, his mother" -- it means something else entirely
Arranged Marriages?
Is it true that traditionally, Jewish marriages were arranged marriages? I’ve also heard that this is still the practice amongst the more religious Jews . . .
Torah: Love Isn't What You Think It Is
How is it that the Torah's depiction of love is so different than our common notion of it? Perhaps the answer is that love true doesn't come from where we think it does
"Listen to Her Voice"
Be spiritual. Listen to Sarah. Listen to your body. Use it. Use your animalistic drives and earthly achievements for G-dly missions. That’s exactly what G-d wants from you.
The Waiting Room
Have you ever driven 60 miles to meet a friend, only to have that friend—who lives two miles away—arrive 10 to 15 minutes late?
Woman Power
The miracles that both Sarah and Rebecca experienced represent the power they had to draw holiness into this world and to extend that holiness beyond the boundaries of their own homes.
Rebecca and the Camel Test
A Lesson in Giving
Surrounded by a group of able-bodied men, Eliezer did not appear as a helpless, weary chap begging for a drink. And Rebecca was a young woman of nobility, not a poor servant girl accustomed to lugging water from wells . . .
The Calm After the Storm
An Essay on Chayei Sarah
Every person’s life consists of two different modes. One mode is characterized by ascents and descents, while the other is characterized by calm and tranquility, without major events or great excitement.
Do You Own What You Have?
Abraham appreciated a simple yet sometimes difficult truth: if you want to make something truly yours, you must pay for it.
What Was Double About Me’arat Hamachpelah?
The Rebbe provides an interpretation of Rashi’s commentary that overturns nearly a thousand years of presumed understanding.
How to Live Life
All of her years were equal, parallel, identical, even-steven for good? Is this possible?
Be the Best You
From Eliezer we learn to find joy in satisfaction within the circumstances G-d gives us.
Bringing the Blessing Into Our Tent
Great blessings such as these do not come as the result of any particular ability we may have or lack.
Torah Insights
Be Like Eliezer, the Ultimate Emissary
We navigate through life, and we want to know “what’s in it for me.” We don’t always identify with the “chariot” of our history, with those men and women who saw themselves exclusively as vehicles of the Divine will.
G-d of Heaven and Earth
How did Abraham view his achievements during his lifetime? What did he see as his mission? And how did he evaluate his own accomplishments?
Eve, Noah, Sarah: Sin, Stupor, Serenity
From the dawn of history, people have been searching for a sense of joy, which is as elusive as it is desirable.
Covenant & Conversation
On Judaism and Islam
There was conflict and separation, but that was the beginning, not the end.
Faith in the Future
What does a man of 137 do after such trauma and bereavement?
Beginning the Journey
Something significant is being hinted at here, otherwise why mention, each time, exactly where the field is and who Abraham bought it from?
Hopes and Fears
Yes, Abraham will have a land. He will have countless children. But these things will not happen soon, or suddenly, or easily.
The Kindness of Strangers
All the fearful stories he had heard about how whites treated blacks seemed to be coming true.
Life After Death
The events recounted in the Torah section of Chayei Sarah all take place after Sarah's death. Not only that -- they seem to all underscore the fact of her demise. Yet "Chayei Sarah" means "the life of Sarah"!
The Hebron Purchase
How much land does “400 silver shekels” buy?
Life Is a Double-Decker Cave
If you ended up on the upper story, consider yourself lucky. If you find yourself on the lower level, consider yourself luckier.
The Emissaries
What do you do if you have a vision, and are determined to see that vision implemented in the life of every man, woman and child on the face of the earth?
What to Look for in Spouse
No other decision you will make in the course of your lifetime will affect you as deeply and as irrevocably
Bachelors in Heaven
You're marrying the man you love. But there's this one strange thing: no one knows where he's been or what he's been doing for the last three years. What does this bode for your marriage?
Weekly Sermonette
Love at Second Sight
"Love at first sight" is a monumental bobba meise
Yiddishe Nachas
The "singles" phenomenon is arguably the single biggest social problem in the Jewish world today. We could well take a cue from the first Jewish father who needed to find a shidduch for his son - Abraham
Don't (Only) Rely on G-d
To my mind, "G-d helps those who help themselves" is a perfectly religious statement
“Eternal Life”
Our lives are measured not only by what we do as individuals, but by what we do for our family and for posterity.
For Friday Night
The Constant Beauty of Innocence
Everyone goes through a stage of innocence. Unfortunately, for most people this stage eventually passes...
The Life of Sarah
What was the life of Sarah, the first mother of the Jewish people? What does her life teach us about our lives today?
The Search for a Soul Mate
What are the first qualities one should look for in our search for their soul mate? A lesson from approach Eliezer, Abraham's messenger to search for a bride for Isaac
Feminine Power
Every Jewish woman and girl has a similar power. Each one has a unique role to play in making the world a dwelling for the Divine.
Individual Freedom
Parshah Messages
The Strangest Shidduch
"Opposites attract" -- but how opposite can happily married spouses be? Take Isaac and Rebecca. Or G‑d and our world
The Marriage Prerequisite
Why did Isaac wait so long to marry; denying his mother the joy of seeing grandchildren? Was it the fear of commitment, or perhaps the desire for a perfect marriage commitment?
Remaining Focused
Eliezer’s approach to his mission teaches a valuable lesson in the art of “matchmaking.”
Parshah Moment
Finding Love
"I want someone who's kind but not the too-kind type that lets himself be walked on, smart but not haughty, assertive but not overbearing, handsome but not vain.." The Rebbe laughed. "It sounds like you want to marry more than one person"
What the Rebbe Taught Me
Aging with Grace
Abraham and Sarah entered each day as one would enter his home, entirely and without reserve...
G-d on Madison Avenue
I tune in to the woman on my left. Apparently, her husband is a work-at-home dad with a knack for blowtorching dinner, and she’s just been informed of his most recent clash with schnitzel. “Oh my G-d!” she shrills.
Inner Stream
Noah, Abraham and the Rebbe
The assertion that Columbus “discovered” America highlights a curious claim made by Abraham.
Why We Work So Hard
Abraham was the ultimate workaholic.
Abraham and the Hittites
The death of Sarah, Abraham's negotiations with the Hittites for a "plot" of land, and the 400 pieces of silver paid for it -- as played out in the inner dynamics of our psyche and soul
Reasons of Infinity
Eliezer could have taken ownership of his mission and said, “My name is Eliezer and, on behalf of Isaac, I am here to ask for Rebecca’s hand.” Instead he declared: “I am a servant of Abraham”
An Arranged Marriage
Had Isaac and Rebecca met in the modern age, their courtship might have looked something like this. Isaac would notice Rebecca at the well . . .
Faith and Suffering
If we believe that all tragedies are perfectly good, why do we ask G‑d to protect us from them? Why do we trust G‑d to protect us from tragedy and thus deny us the perfect goodness we would have gained from it?
What Do You Think?
What's on Your Business Card?
No name, no identity, no "Harvard Grad '86, Yale '89, fed the starving in Albania in '97, joined the March for the Homeless 2000, top executive in a Fortune 500 company, board member at the local JCC, plays golf to support the local Hadassah chapter, and has a wonderful relationship with his three exes..."
Who Was Keturah and Why Did Abraham Marry Her?
Rashi tells us that Keturah was one and the same as Hagar, whom Abraham had married more than 50 years prior.
Living through the Parshah
What We Learn From Eliezer’s Words
Why are so many complex laws in the Torah written in so few words?
Living With the Past
Abraham was old, and he lived his life by entering into his days. He didn't transition from one stage of his life to the next, leaving each episode behind as he began the next...
The Beauty of Sarah
In a final summation of Sarah’s life, the Torah tells us two things—that she was beautiful and that she had a flawless character—her two great qualities juxtaposed.
Parshah Musings
Someone Has to Pay Retail
When his wife Sarah passed away, Abraham was offered an incredible bargain: a free burial plot. Abraham's refusal to accept teaches us something about the worth of bargains...
Beyond Their Years
Founding a new philosophy and religion at age 3? Starting a family at age 100? The lives of founding fathers and mother of the Jewish people hold this lesson for us: Youth is no hindrance and age is no barrier.
Time Wasting
How and why do I allow myself to squander so many of life's opportunities, and what can I do to bring the dwindling minutes of my life back under my control?
I Just Called to Say I Love You
Prayer is a mitzvah that helps us maintain a relationship with G‑d.
Life's Passages
Are You a Victim of Your Circumstances?
Chayei Sarah
In this week’s Torah portion, we are introduced to our matriarch, Rebecca. Our sages applied to her the verse: “As a rose among the thorns, so is my beloved among the daughters.”
Chasing Youth
Chayei Sarah
What is it about youth that makes us yearn to be young again?
Countering the "If Only" Attitude
Chayei Sarah
The “if only” attitude claims that if only we had some essentially missing quality, then our lives would be infinitely enhanced.
Did You Hear the Latest Scandal?
Chayei Sarah
Parshah Recovery
A Life of One Day at a Time
There are some who push through life just trying to get from one day to the next. There are others who say that every moment is to be savored. Abraham's attitude surpassed both of these.
Beyond Speech
Making Your Life Yours
It’s Your Attitude That Matters
Why does Abraham say that he is a foreigner and a resident? What lesson can we take from his attitude?
On the Haftarah: Solidification of Our Dynasty
For the Haftarah of Chayei Sarah, From the Teachings of the Rebbe
The Jewish dynasty started with Abraham, but must go through Isaac and his son, Jacob. Everyone who comes from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob is intrinsically Jewish.
A Rose Among Thorns
The Torah tells us more about Rebecca than about any of our other matriarchs.
The Freeman Files
Higher Life
Chayei Sarah
Live in this world, but live above it.
Enter Your Day
Invest your entire being in each day of life and it will belong to you.
Counting Time
A moment uncounted is a moment that never was.
Life in a Day
A day enters, opens its doors, tells its story, and then returns above, never to visit again.
Arrows of Life
In which direction does your life move? To wherever you have placed its arrow.
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