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Bereisheit Chayei Sarah

Genesis 23.1 - 25.18

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By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

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Bereisheit 23.1

 וַיִּהְיוּ חַיֵּי שָׂרָה מֵאָה שָׁנָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנִים שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי שָׂרָה1:1


Genesis 23.1

And it was the lifetime of Sarah, one hundred years, and twenty years and seven years, [These were the] years of Sarah's life.


Parshat Chayei Sarah begins with the words ויהיו חיי שרה Vah Yeeh Yoo- Chah Yay Sarah, meaning, and it was the lifetime of Sarah. One should inquire, what was the lifetime of Sarah? In so doing they would find these three words reveal rich treasures. The Gematria of Vah Yeeh Yoo - Chah Yay Sarah is 570. Why is 570 so special? There are many Gematrias of 570.


This was the lifetime of Sarah

ו6י10ה5י10ו6 ח8י10י10 ש300ר200ה5 = 570

Shema [Yisroel]

ש300י10ן50 מ40ם40 ע70י10ן50 = 570


To Be Rich

ע70 ש300 ר200 = 570


The number 570 represents the lifetime of Sarah our Matriarch and richness. Sarah Emeinu / our mother's, lifetime was one of great wealth. Her life was filled with richness.


Shlomo Ha Melech / King Soloman said, An accomplished wife who can find? Far beyond [rich] pearls is her value. Mishlei / Proverbs 31.10

Our sages Teach Sarah's tent was Sarah's Temple. Sarah Emeinue brought Holiness into her home. Her home was no ordinary tent. It had extraordinary qualities: A cloud [the Shekinah] of Holiness [resting over it], doors which proclaimed their openness to all passers-by, a blessing in her dough, a Sabbath lamp that remained lit all week long. These miracles were not Abraham's doing; they ceased with Sarah's death. Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereisheit Vol. I(b) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 832


The Shekinah over Sarah's Home represented that this was a holy home. God's Presence Rested over it. The home was protected! There were special blessings of satisfaction in Sarah's dough that flowed out to the entire community. Just as the bread of the Bet HaMikdosh / the Holy Temple Brought prosperity and abundance to B'nei Yisroel, so did Sarah's bread. Sarah's Esau candles represented spiritual growth that would begin with each Erev Esau and last all week. When Sarah died all of these vanished. With Sara's death the Cloud of Glory over the tent vanished, the blessing in the dough ceased, and the candle that had burnt in the tent from one Erev Sabbath to the next was extinguished. Rabbi Moshe Weissman, The Midrash Says (Brooklyn, New York: Benei Yakov Publications 1980), p. 210

When Sarah lived a cloud covered her tent; when she died, the cloud left. When Rebekah came, the cloud returned. When Sarah lived, the doors to her tent were wide open. When Sarah died the liberal giving ceased. When Rebekah came, the liberal giving returned. When Sarah lived, there was blessing upon her dough. The Sabbath candle / oil burn from the evening of the Sabbath until the evening of the following Sabbath. When Sarah died, these ceased. When Rebekah came they returned. Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, Midrash Rabba Genesis II (New York, NY: The Soncino Press 1983) p 538


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