From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
WEEKDAY T’FILAH p. 88
Pour Your spirit upon the rulers of all lands; guide them that they may govern justly. O may You alone rule over us in steadfast love and compassion. Blessed are You, the Eternal One, who loves righteousness and justice.
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/chayei-sarah
Chayei Sarah [חַיֵּי שָׂרָה – The Life of Sarah] – Genesis 23:1−25:18
Sarah lived to be 127 years old – such was the span of Sarah’s life. – Genesis 23:1
- Abraham purchases the cave of Machpelah in order to bury his wife Sarah. (23:1-20)
- Abraham sends his servant to find a bride for Isaac. (24:1-9)
- Rebekah shows her kindness by offering to draw water for the servant’s camels at the well. (24:15-20)
- The servant meets Rebekah’s family and then takes Rebekah to Isaac, who marries her. (24:23-67)
- Abraham takes another wife, named Keturah. At the age of one hundred and seventy-five years, Abraham dies, and Isaac and Ishmael bury him in the cave of Machpelah. (25:1-11)
1 Kings 1:1-31
From The Haftarah Commentary, Gunther Plaut/Chaim Stern UAHC Press 1996 p.44
Connection of sidra and haftarah:
Sarah has been buried, and the aged Abraham wants to find a proper wife for his son Isaac, so that the future of the family, which is the bearer of God’s promise, will be secured. The haftarah tells us of King David’s old age and the way Solomon was chosen as his successor.
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/chayei-sarah
By: Rabbi Stacy Rigler
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
For Torah Study, instead of the portion from the Book of Genesis that is read on this Shabbat, we will read the Haftarah (a selection from the prophets) following this portion. This week’s Haftarah is I Kings 1:1-31. You can read this week’s Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Genesis.23.1-25.18 and the Haftarah we will be studying at https://www.sefaria.org/I_Kings.1.1-1.31
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
חיי שרה Chayei Sarah – Genesis 23:1–25:18
Post-biblical Interpretations – by Judith R. Baskin, pp. 127-128
Sarah died (23:2). A 13th-century Yemenite Midrash collection begins its interpretations of this parashah with an extended commentary on Proverbs 31, the description of a “woman of valor.” The midrash connects the various exemplary qualities of the outstanding wife of Proverbs 31 to twenty-three biblical women, in order of their scriptural appearance. The second woman discussed (after Noah’s wife) is Sarah: “‘The heart of her husband trusts in her’ (Proverbs 31:11)–this is Sarah, in whom Abraham’s heart trusted. ‘And lacks no good thing’ (same verse)–for she used to bring guests [converts] under the wings of the Shechinah” (Midrash HaGadol). | Commenting on “the sun rises, and the sun sets” (Ecclesiastes 1:5), another midrash notes the Torah’s juxtaposition of the mention of Rebekah’s lineage at the end of Genesis 22 and the death of Sarah at the beginning of Genesis 23; that midrash praises the divine omniscience that plans for all things: “Before allowing Sarah’s sun to set, the Holy One caused Rebekah’s sun to rise” (Midrash B’reishit Rabbah 58.2).
Abraham was old, well advanced in years (24:1). Abraham was profoundly affected by Sarah’s death, according to the Rabbis. While she was alive, he felt himself young and vigorous, but after she had passed away, old age suddenly overtook him (Tanchuma 4). | According to the Talmud, “Until Abraham there was no physical aging; people would confuse Abraham with his son Isaac because they looked so similar. Thereupon Abraham prayed and the physical manifestations of old age came into existence” (BT Bava M’tzia 87a).
So they called Rebekah and asked her…. And she said, “I will go” (24:58). One midrash connects this episode with “She is good to him, never bad” (Proverbs 31:12) and comments, “It was customary in the world that when a man would wed his daughter to someone … she would be too embarrassed to say anything [either in affirmation or rejection]” (Midrash HaGadol). Rebekah, however, made clear that she was willing to go with a stranger to become Isaac’s wife. | Another midrash derives from this narrative the legal ruling that “a fatherless maiden may not be given in marriage without her consent” (B’reishit Rabbah 60.12).
Sister, may you become thousands of myriads (24:60). Rabbinic tradition harbors great suspicion toward Rebekah’s brother, Laban, as an enemy of the people of Israel. Therefore, some rabbis strongly denied that his blessing could have had any positive effect: “Why was Rebekah not remembered [with children] until Isaac prayed for her (Genesis 25:21)? So that the heathen should not say, ‘Our prayer bore fruit’” (B’reishit Rabbah 60.13).
Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah (24:67). One midrash claims that this verse proves that “Rebekah’s deeds were [praiseworthy] like Sarah’s” (Midrash HaGadol). A cloud signifying the divine Presence had hovered over Sarah’s tent throughout her lifetime. It disappeared when she died–“but when Rebekah came, it returned” (B’reishit Rabbah 60.16). Similarly, Rebekah continued all the positive activities that Sarah had initiated, “separating her challah in ritual purity” (See Numbers 15:18–21) and keeping the Sabbath lamp kindled.
Abraham went on and took a wife named Keturah (25:1). This marriage is mentioned following Isaac’s marriage to Rebekah. One midrash learns from this that “if a man has grown-up sons, he must first see that they marry, and only then take a wife himself” (B’reishit Rabbah 60.16). | The Rabbis wondered who Keturah was, since no information is given about her origins or lineage. Some of the sages insisted she was actually Hagar, who, they argued, had returned to Abraham after Sarah’s death (Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer 30, among others). And lest anyone be concerned about Hagar’s chastity during her absence from Abraham’s household, another midrash explains, based on the linguistic similarities between the Hebrew root k–t–r (to “tie up” or “seal”) and the name Keturah, “that she was like one who seals up a treasure and produces it with its seal” (B’reishit Rabbah 61.4). An alternative and late midrashic tradition understands Keturah to be a separate individual from Hagar. This midrash relates that Abraham married three wives and that each was a descendant of one of the sons of Noah: Sarah was of the line of Shem, Keturah descended from Japheth, and Hagar was from the family of Ham (Yalkut Reuveni, Genesis 26:2, 36c).
ROSH CHODESH KISLEV
Kislev begins at sundown on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 and ends at nightfall on Thursday, November 25, 2022. It is the ninth month of the Hebrew calendar and the third of the civil calendar. Rosh Chodesh is a minor holiday that occurs at the beginning of every month in the Hebrew calendar. It is marked by the birth of a new moon.
When a Hebrew calendar month is 30 days long, such as the current month of Cheshvan, day 30 is considered Rosh Chodesh of the next month. Then Rosh Chodesh is two days long: day 30 of the old month and day 1 of the new month.
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
ROSH CHODESH – FOR THE NEW MONTH p.519
Our God and God of our ancestors, may the new month bring us goodness and blessing. May we have long life, peace, prosperity, a life exalted by love of Torah and reverence for the divine; a life in which the longings of our hearts are fulfilled for good.
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, 25 Cheshvan through 1 Kislev, we lovingly remember:
Julius (Archie) Zalla
TKH Memorial Board
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, November 18, 2022. For the next few months we will read and discuss the Haftarah, each selection from the prophets following the weekly Torah Portion.
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi.
Topic: Torah Study – Haftarah I Kings 1:1-31
Time: Nov 18, 2022 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Nov 18, 2022 07:30 PM Arizona
To join Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat/Gut Shabbos
PS – About the Book of Kings:
From Jewish Encyclopedia
From Jewish Virtual Library
From My Jewish Learning
Timelines from Wikipedia