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July 24, 2024

Archive for October 19, 2013

Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Chayei Sarah2

Genesis, 23:1-25:18
This Week’s Torah Portion | October 20 – October 26, 2013 – Cheshvan 16 – Cheshvan 22, 5774

In A Nutshell

In the portion, The Life of Sarah, Abraham gives a eulogy after Sarah’s death at the age of 127. He buys a lot for the grave from Ephron the Hittite for four hundred shekels of silver and buries her in the Cave of Machpelah, in Hebron.

Abraham objects to Isaac marrying a woman from the Canaanites, and sends Eliezer, his servant, to Aram Naharaim to find a wife for his son. When Eliezer approaches a well, he meets Rebecca and asks her to give him water. She gives him water, and offers water to his camels, as well. Eliezer takes her offer as a sign that she is the right woman for Isaac, and so he brings her to Canaan.

After the death of Sarah, Abraham marries Keturah, who bears six children, which Abraham sends eastward. Abraham died at the age of 175, and inherits all that he has to Isaac.

The end of the portion elaborates on the generations of Ishmael and on his passing at the age of 175.

 Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

We need to remember that the Torah speaks of what happens within, as one reveals one’s soul, the innermost part. The revelation of the soul is gradual, and manifests in the stories of the Torah. Abraham is the initial force with which a person reveals the soul and opens the internality to discover the upper world. He is the first force of overcoming, the force of bestowal, along with that force’s female, Sarah, which is suitable for the degree of Abraham.

To know with which desires we can work and with which we cannot, we must sort out our self-centered desires, leaving the degrees with which we still cannot work for the next degrees, for states where the desire is stronger. To scrutinize the desire called Isaac, we must first remove the desire with which we cannot work, and sort it with another female, with Hagar, from whom comes Ishmael, the Klipa (shell/peel) of the right.

The Isaac degree within us emerges only afterward, and is an extension of the Abraham degree. It is written about Isaac, “For in Isaac will your seed be named” (Genesis, 21:12), meaning that Abraham’s rise to a higher degree is named Isaac. At the Isaac degree, one should reexamine one’s desires, and sort out with which desires it is possible to work, and with which it is impossible.

A person cannot scrutinize alone, as that person (Abraham) comes from only one force, one side, from the force of Hesed (mercy). Abraham is still without Gevura, and must first acquire the degree of Isaac, which is the foundation of Gevura. This is the point where the force of Eliezer comes to the aid. Eliezer is like the upper light—scrutinizing the desires for a person, bringing one to the degree where one can sort the next stage of correction out of all of one’s desires. That stage is called Rebecca.

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Glossary – Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion


The words, Shanim (years) or Shanah (year), come from the word Shoneh (repeating) when we repeat the corrections but on a higher level. There is a ladder of 125 rungs. There are five worlds, with five Partzufim (faces) in each world, and five Sefirot in each Partzuf. 5x5x5 are the 125 rungs, or degrees where we need to repeat the corrections, each time on a more advanced step. This is how we go from stage to stage, from degree to degree, until the end of all the corrections, where we are included in the world of Ein Sof (infinity), in Dvekut (adhesion) with the upper force and in complete similarity with it.

The Cave of Machpelah

The Cave of Machpelah is the great Tikkun (correction) of Malchut that is included in Bina. This is how it can correct itself in equivalence of form with Bina. Malchut is the will to receive, and Bina is the desire to bestow. When Malchut and Bina equalize with one another, then we have inserted the force of Bina throughout the earth, the desire, down to the state called a “cave.”

Burial Site

A burial site is a place where we bury our ego. We do not bury the will to receive, but only the intention to receive, the qualities that work in our favor, and against others. When I bury qualities that make me feel good, such as the desire to exploit, defeat, or see others as inferior, it is a burial of the will to receive. Thus, we do not bury the desire, but only its egotistical form that manifests in us.


Marriage is a state where I can repeatedly take various egotistical qualities from my will to receive, correct them, and thus cover them. This is the meaning of the wedding ceremony, with the Huppah (wedding canopy) being the Masach (screen). The Zohar explains it very clearly in the essay, “The Night of the Bride.”

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Kabbalah – the Method for Entering Spirituality

Kabbalah - the Method for Entering Spirituality

Nearly everyone has an opinion about what spirituality is, but almost no one has any connection with the spiritual world or any idea how it works. People have argued that the spiritual can be understood through arts such as music, or through science, religion, even psychology.

But spirituality can really only be understood when experienced.

This means that a person must somehow be able to enter the “place of the spiritual,” research it, and determine what its properties are. In other words, they must undertake a process of discovery. The tool for this process is called “Kabbalah.”

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