Genesis 23 - The Value of Mothers Milk ©

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Journey Through Genesis

Genesis 23

The Value Of Mother's Milk

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk Audio
B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

This Zerah Torah Limood is in the loving memory of Helen bat Na'amah, Revi's Grandmother Gladys Ethel and father and step father, my mother and my father, Carrie bat Brachah Rivkah, Stephen ben Martha, Sharon bat Vivian, Florence Youman bat Chavah, Jeanne C. W. Pierre, Joseph Adam Pierre, Louella P. Bienvenu, Barbara Pierre, Terrill B. Thomas, Joyce Duff bat Na'amah and Michael and Channah Sakash may they rest in peace.

Dear Ones we are entering the Perik that discusses the death of Sarah, wife of Avraham, mother of Yitzchok. Yet the Scripture does not focus on death.  We read, 

Bereisheit 23

וַיִּהְיוּ חַיֵּי שָׂרָה מֵאָה שָׁנָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנִים שְׁנֵי      חַיֵּי שָׂרָה:11

Genesis 23.1

And it happened, the life of Sarah was a hundred year and twenty year and seven years, [these were the] years of Sarah's life.

Sarah's life is divided into three time periods.

One hundred year. [ק]One hundred years was grouped as a year.

Twenty year. [כ]Twenty years was grouped as a year.

Seven years. [ז]Each of the seven years were individual.

Dear Ones our intent is to provide a few examples for the significance of each of these numbers to Sarah, Avraham's wife.

Does this have anything to do with Bereisheit 6.3?

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה לֹא־יָדוֹן רוּחִי בָאָדָם לְעֹלָם בְּשַׁגָּם הוּא

 בָשָׂר וְהָיוּ יָמָיו מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה:

[3] And He, Hashem Said, My Spirit shall not argue within man  for ever, to connect to him, for he is flesh, and it happened, His days are one hundred twenty year

What is Ha Torah Telling us about Sarah's life?  I think we are being directed to focus on the periods of Sarah's life, the one hundred year period, the twenty year period and the seven years of which each are a period. The 120 years relates to us as humans.  This is the human cycle.  This is the period we are born in and die within. The seven years relates to us as Spiritual. The weekly cycle is seven. At the conclusion of the weekly cycle we begin another weekly cycle. The cycle concludes with the Seventh Day, Shabbat, the day of rest. Many cycles are based upon Seven. 

The Festival of Weeks -  7 Weeks x 7 Weeks = 49 days

And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year's end. Shemot 34.22

Seven weeks shall you count; begin to number the seven weeks from such time as you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10  And you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give according as the Lord your God has blessed you. Devarim / Deuteronomy 16.9

The Seventh Year Represents Freedom for A Hebrew Servant

If you buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve; and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. Shemot / 21.2

Every Seven Years the Land Receives a Shabbat

Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruit; But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest to the land, a sabbath for the Lord; you shall not sow your field, nor prune your vineyard. Vayikra / Leviticus 25.3

Seven Years x Seven Years is the Year of Jubilee

And you shall count seven sabbaths of years to you, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty and nine years. Then shall you cause the shofar to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the Day of Atonement shall you sound the shofar throughout all your land. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants of it; it shall be a jubilee to you; and you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall return every man to his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you; you shall not sow, nor reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of your vine undressed. For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat the produce of it out of the field. In the year of this jubilee you shall return every man to his possession. Vayikra / Leviticus 25.8-13

Twenty Represents

Yaakov served Lavan 20 years

Thus have I been twenty years in your house... Bereisheit / Genesis 31.41

Yoseif was sold by his brothers for 20 pieces of silver

Then there passed by Midianites merchants; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out from the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver; and they brought Joseph to Egypt. Genesis 37.28

At the age of 20 a man was counted for the first time in the 1/2 Shekel Offering

Every one who passes among those who are counted, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering to the Lord. Exodus 30.14

A Hundred Represents

We know Yitzchok was born when Avraham was 100. Ha Torah draws attention to this fact in Bereisheit 21.7

וַתֹּאמֶר מִי מִלֵּל לְאַבְרָהָם הֵינִיקָה בָנִים שָׂרָה כִּי־יָלַדְתִּי בֵן לִזְקֻנָיו:  

Genesis 21.7

And she said, Who would have said to Abraham, that Sarah should suckle children? For I have born him a son in his old age


R. Helkiah's name: Not אָמַר Amar or  דִּבֶּר dibber but מִלֵּל MILLEL is written 

1: Thus she indirectly drew his attention to the fact that he had begotten child at the age of a hundred years. 

2 R. Phinehas said in R. Helkiah's name: [MILLEL signifies that] the standing crop of our father Abraham  {Gen. 467}  had been dried up, but it now turned to ripe ears of corn (meliloth).

Millel meaning to utter


מ40 ל30 ל30 = 100


4 Our mother Sarah was extremely modest. Said Abraham to her: 'This is not a time for modesty, but uncover your breasts so that all may know that the Holy One, blessed be He, has begun to perform miracles.' She uncovered her breasts and the milk gushed forth as from two fountains, and noble ladies came and had their children suckled by her, saying, 'We do not merit that our children should be suckled with the milk of that righteous woman.' The Rabbis said: Whoever came for the sake of heaven

5 became God-fearing. R. Aha said: Even one who did not come for the sake of heaven

6 was given dominion [i.e. greatness] in this world. Yet they did not continue to enjoy it, for when they stood aloof at Sinai and would not accept the Torah, that dominion was taken from them. Thus it is written, He looseth the bonds of kings, and bindeth their loins with a girdle (Job XII, 18).


The Gematria of מֵאָה is 46.  This is the same Gematria as וְחָלָב meaning and milk is also 46.  Ha Torah Says in Bereisheit 18.8

וַיִּקַּח חֶמְאָה וְחָלָב וּבֶן־הַבָּקָר אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּתֵּן לִפְנֵיהֶם וְהוּא עֹמֵד עֲלֵיהֶם תַּחַת הָעֵץ וַיֹּאכֵלוּ:

And He Avraham took bread and milk and the calf he had prepared and set it before them...  



מ40 א1 ה5 = 46

and milk


ו6 ח8 ל30 ב2 = 46

Who were these travelers? They were Angels. One would bring the message that at the age of one hundred Avraham would have a son. 

So Mystically we can see the connection between the period of 100 with the age of Avraham and the connection to the milk Sarah fed Yitzchok. From this we learn milk from a righteous woman causes the children to be G-d Fearing and causes greatness...

Genesis 23.2

וַתָּמָת שָׂרָה בְּקִרְיַת אַרְבַּע הִוא חֶבְרוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַיָּבֹא

   : אַבְרָהָם לִסְפֹּד לְשָׂרָה וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ  

Genesis 23.2

And Sarah died in Kiryat Arba, which is in Chevron in the land of Canaan. And he, Avraham came to eulogize , to hour, to lament, to grieveSarah and to weep for her.

Genesis 23.19

Avraham returned to Beer Sheva...

So Avraham was in Beer Sheva and Sarah was in Kiryat Arba. Sarah was in Kiryat Arba searching for Avraham and Yitzchol.

Kiryat Arba / evron is located in the southern West Bank of Yisroel, 30 km (19 mi) south of Jerusalem. Judaea Chevron is nestled in the Judaea Mountains at 930 meters (3,050 ft) above sea level.  It is the largest city in the West Bank. The city is the traditional burial site of Adam and Chavah, Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchok and Rivkah and Yaakov and Leah. Wikipedia

Beer Sheva is in the Negev dessert in southern Yisroel about 81 Km., (50 miles) from Jerusalem.  Beer Sheva  is about 48 Km., (30 miles) from Kiryat Arba. The walking distance would normally require between 1 to 3 days. Our Sages Teach that when Sarah learned of Avraham's intent to offer her son as a sacrifice. She traveled to Cevron in search of Avraham and Yitzchok. Then Sarah ends up dying in Chevron.

We who have just engaged in this discussion are blessed because of Sarah.  May this blessing grow and continue to grow.

Blessings, Love and peace,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel and Rebbetzin Revi

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This page contains a single entry by B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC Blog published on October 30, 2012 12:01 AM.

Genesis 23 - A Lesson from the Letter Chof © was the previous entry in this blog.

Genesis 24 - What Do the Letters Zayin, Kuf and Nun have in Common © is the next entry in this blog.

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