Chaye Sarah

Dear friends,

In memory of: Pnina Benyamini, Ruth Lewis Bloomfield, Sharon Guralnick and Dina Wolfe, all of whom died over this past week. Our condolences to their families.

This week we enter into Chaye Sarah – technically we read these words as the life of Sarah, but we quickly realize it is her life as remembered by Abraham, as he eulogizes her. Sarah has died and after Abraham eulogizes her, he ensures she is buried. He purchases – for the asking price – the Cave of Machpelah. There should never be any question of ownership.

This past week our larger Jewish community saw four women die: Part of the necessity of a eulogy is remembering the life in the immediacy of her/his death. We are in an acute stage of grief and want to tether our memory to stories that hold the soul or neshamah of our loved one close to us.

I want to thank our members that have stepped up to my call to be pallbearers over these past several months. Even during the distancing of Covid, and all the regulations limiting contact at funerals, we need 4 pallbearers. Even as we may livestream a funeral on Zoom we can’t Zoom that work!  So thank you very much.

Chaye Sarah isn’t all sadness and grief – the text holds an exquisite love story – that of Yitzhak, Sarah’s son Isaac and Rivka, of Rebecca. We actually read the words, “He loved her” in Torah and that he was consoled, nachem, in that love. One of our obligations is to provide consolation to those in mourning, nichum aveilim. These days with limitations on gathering this may be difficult. But being present, helping at a levayah, a funeral, is definitely a source of comfort to those in mourning.

Please let me know if you would like to be on an on-call list to do this work, accompanying the deceased to their final resting place. Women and men can do this work; anyone over the age of 13. Be part of this mitzvah.

Love to all,

Rabbi Lynn