Torah Pearls #5 – Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18) learn about love, romance, marriage, death, laden camels, and the power of specific prayers. Chayei Sarah unfolds dramatically as the trio examine its many pearls. The portion begins with Abraham securing a burial place for Sarah and ends with his death. In between, we get to relive one of the world’s best stories, not once, but four times, as Abraham’s servant makes a match for Isaac. But far from stale repetition, Gordon explains that being able to analyze word choices in a repeated story is pay dirt for the linguist.

Word studies include: “rose up”, under the “thigh”, the number “ten”, and a rare accent mark used only three times in the Torah. Discussions include: Why would a master negotiator insist on paying full price for anything? Why was Abraham adamant that Isaac not be taken back to Ur? And what was at the heart of the servant’s methods that caused him to be such a clever matchmaker?

I look forward to reading your comments!

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13 thoughts on “Torah Pearls #5 – Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

  1. My comment is actually a question I was hoping you might address during your discussion. Is it true that once Abraham took Yitshaq to be offered as a sacrifice that Sarah left Abraham and never saw him again?
    Gen 20:1 Abraham stayed in Gerar.
    Gen 21: 32-34 Abraham is at Beersheba and travels in the land of the Philistines.
    Gen 22:2 YHVH tells Abraham to take Yitshaq to Moriyah.
    Gen 22:19 Abraham returns to Beersheba and dwelt at Beersheba.
    THEN Gen 23:2 Sarah died in Qiryath, Arba, that is Hebron, in the land of Kenaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.
    I am not really familiar with the geographic locations of the ancient lands but isn’t Hebron different from Beersheba? Why did Abraham have to come to mourn Sarah? Why was Sarah in Hebron and not Beersheba? Did Abraham’s obedience to YHVH regarding Yitshaq cause Sarah to leave Abraham, breaking up their marriage? I have heard this taught and wondered what Jewish understanding is regarding this possibility.
    Thank you for your wonderful lessons – I really enjoy Torah Pearls!!

  2. Hi Nehemia my name is arturo and want to say that u have been a light to better understand tha word of Jehovah
    I have a question why israel uses the star of 6 points and why it is call David’s star thank you for sharing you knowledge with us may Jehovah blees you.

  3. In regards to paying the full price, if he would have got a deal, would that not possibly come back with idea of not really sealing the deal? It would in a sense keep a connection to the seller.

  4. According to Orthodox Judaism She was 3 years old and the water containers were coming up and down the well by magic.

  5. When Laban ran out to the well to meet the servant he said “Come in, O blessed of the LORD” (24:31). And then in verses 50-51 Laban again refers to “The LORD.”

    Are we to understand that Laban actually uses the name Yehovah? And if so, does that indicate that they already knew about the God of Abraham? Is it possible that in that region people were already worshipping Yehovah?

  6. I just can’t help but wonder if there is a link between the song and the portion… Que será, será
    Whatever will be, will be
    The future’s not ours to see
    Que será, será
    What will be, will be

    Read more: Doris Day – Whatever Will Be, Will Be Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  7. Reference Gen 24:63 and the word לָשׂוּחַ which Nehemia translated as pray and I think Jono said his translation said ‘meditate’. A few years ago I checked several types of dictionaries as well as a Talmud portion that discusses this verse. As I recall, לָשׂוּח means ‘to go for a walk’, perhaps not as strenuous as a hike. I think the Talmud takes the word לָשׂוּחַ and morphs it into שיח meaning ‘conversation’ and thus ‘prayer’. Perhaps the correct translation would be ‘And Issac went out for a walk…’

  8. Perhaps Eleazar did not go alone, 10 camels with men and gifts, you have to pay a bride price to the father, the nose ring and bracelets were betrothal gift for her; marks her as legaly married, so that’s why all the running; imagine what the entorage would look like to them with wealth. The days to say were to prepare her for consumation, most likely her time of neddah. Legality or proof of marriage was nose ring and bracelts (marriage certificate).

  9. In old England, when someone was caught lying, they cut a “knotch” out of their hand to brand them as untrustworthy. Before anyone could be a “witness” in court cases, they had to produce their right hand to prove they weren’t lying.

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