Shabbat October 29-30 2021, Heshvan 23 5782
Special Aspect of this Shabbat: Shabbat Mevorkhim – Blessing the New Moon of Kislev arriving this week.
Sadly, Sarah dies. Avraham locates, negotiates, and purchases a burial ground for her. Adam and Havah were buried there already, according to midrash.
Avraham asks the head of his household, Eliezer (according to midrash), to find a bride for Yitzhak. Eliezer goes to the old country (Iraq now, Mesopotamia then – it was the old country to Avraham.) in search a wife for Yitzhak. He pauses and asks G!D for specific signs to let him know he is on the right track. The signs manifest quickly and with precision. Rivkah agrees to return to Avraham‘s house with Eliezer immediately. The process of how this comes to be is repeatedly repeated in this Torah portion.
Avraham marries Keturah and has six more children. They travel to the East on a mission.
Avraham dies, sadly and is buried peacefully by Ishmael and Itzhak. The parashah ends by naming Avraham‘s two other families before returning to Yitzhak and Rivkah.
HAYAII SARAH corresponds to HOD IN HESED RADIANCE IN GRACE in the S’firah Cycle
Hod cultivates radiance, gratitude, humility. She pauses to discern. Hod listens and attunes to the subtlety.
RABBI ZALMAN SCHACHTER SHALOMI ZT”L ON HOD
“Hod flies like a bird flies and swims like a fish swims.” Elat Chayyim 1997
HOD AND SACRED SURFING`
Surfing, whether it be riding waves in the ocean or navigating the ups and downs of life, requires the ability to pause and discern. Hod recognizes that some waves are meant to be ridden fully while others are meant to pass on by. This discernment cultivates radiance. Hod is the way of the priestess and prophetess.
Hod and Sarah
Sarah, a powerful priestess in her own right, enacts and embodies Hod in her life. Kings want her and she laughs. She tosses Hagar and Yishamel out, preserving her nest and private family interests.
Hesed‘s expansiveness and lovingkindness is the backdrop of this Torah portion. The aspect of Hesed come through in several ways.
HESED – THE NATURE OF WATER
The nature of water is to spread endlessly as far as it can go. When contained, water meets its container precisely and graciously.
Water is necessary for life as we know it. When scientists seek life beyond Earth, they start out by locating an environment that can support liquid water.
Water exists beyond Earth’s local cosmos.
Torah and science teach that life and movement began in water.
Living beings will go through great effort for the privilege of accessing water and with it, life. One only need look at the plant life in a desert to witness this.
Water is sensitive. It is impacted by the Moon’s gravitational pull, creating waves on Earth’s oceans. This is significant. It means that water is receptive and reactive to transmission beyond Earth’s local cosmos.
The human body is upwards of 70% water, as is our home planet Earth.
No, not water, it’s Torah (Bava Kama 17A). The Talmud is replete with statements that on the surface make little sense, and guide the student to contemplate a deeper understanding. (adapted from https://torah.org)
HOD IN HESED IN HAYAII Sarah
Avraham is the Master of Hesed. (See the Classical Kabbalah Reference sheet below). He embodies Hesed. Avraham‘s presence and direction permeate Hayii Sarah and is behind all that happens.
Sarah Eemaynu (our mother), embodies the qualities of Hod. (See Classical Kabbalah reference sheet below.)
The signs and journey revolve around a water source (Hesed), a water well.
Eliezer pauses (Hod) by the water (Hesed) well. He prays (Hod) and asks for special grace (Hesed). He requests a specific series of signs (praying for Grace – Hesed) to confirm he is on track with the mission of finding a bride for Yitzhak. The prayers are answered.
Hod is a radiant S’firah living beneath G’vurah on the Tree of Life. G’vurah’s function is to direct and modulate movement. Hod operates differently. She tends to be internally reflective, charging herself with energy until she glows and attracts. She balances Netzah’s more outward focus. This parashah is the story of finding the Matriarch who will serve as a leader for generation to follow. Rivkah is sought. The story, like Hod, is reflected within itself, like an echoing seashell is told over and over again. (adapted from Meta Parshiyot by Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank )
The S’firah corresponding to this week’s parashah portrays the glowing face of a child as she learns, experiments, and succeeds. Her radiance mirrors the radiance of the Divine she is discovering everywhere – within and without. (adapted from Meta Parshiyot by Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank )
Adapted from The Living Torah Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt”l and Meta Parshiyot 5778 by Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank zt”l
The first prayer in the Amidah – the standing silent prayer is called Avot, ancestors.
It completes with Barukh Atah Hashem Magen Avraham – Avraham’s shield in older Conservative and Orthodox siddurim. There is a custom of including Sarah in the prayer and inviting in her presence. It is done by means of adding the words above – v’ezrat Sarah meaning “…and Sarah’s helper’. The hatimah (invocation) of the first blessing in the Amidah including Sarah is Barukh Atah HaShem Magen Avraham v’Ezrat Sarah“.