Parshas Chayei-Sarah:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il
HomePage: http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~hm16/

Parshas Chayei-Sarah:

Pasuk (23:1-4):

The Pasuk says that Sarah lived for 127 years and the Midrash tells us that Sarah passed away after she heard of the Akeida.

The Pasuk continues and tells us that Avraham came to eulogize Sarah, and to bewail her.

Where did Avraham come from to do the Hesped for Sarah?

So the Medrash says that Avraham came from Har-Hamoriah, after the Akeidah.

Now what is the meaning that he came from Har-Hamoriah, we know that this was the last place where he was?

So the Pasuk is telling us that from the story of the Akeidah, Avraham saw that Yitzchak was willing to give up his life, it showed him what a high level Yitzchak was on.

It also showed him how great Sarah was that she raised such a child that was willing to give himself up, on Hashem's command.

Thus when Avraham came to say Hesped on Sarah, he came inspired from Har-Hamoriah and saw what Sarah put into his son, Yitzchak. (Based on Rav Frand's Torah Tape)

There is another explanation that is given by Rav Dovid Keviat, that brings the Medrash of the connection between the Akeida and Sarah's death.

That the "Malach Ha-Maveis"(angel of death) told over to Sarah the act of the Akeida, and told her that "Avraham brought the knife to Yitzchak...", and Sarah died.

We may ask, why couldn't the "Malach Ha-Maveis" take Sarah's life without trickery, since Chazal tell us that her life time was up?

So Chazal say, that the "Malach Ha-Maveis" was not satisfied that Avraham passed the Akedia test thus he decided to kill Sarah as a result of the Akeida. Avraham who was obviously happy that he passed the test would come home and he would see that Sarah died because of the Akeida.

When Avraham comes back, is he going to say that this Akeida cost him his wife, would he have regret for the Akeidah?

Comes Rav Frand and explains that after people die, a lot of times the relatives feel guilt for the persons death as if they could have stopped it.

That they may say, "If only I was there at the time, I could have maybe helped..."

This is what the "Malach Ha-Maves" wanted, he wanted Avraham to have regret, and thus loose whatever he gained from his test.

Yet Avraham came with Har-Hamoriah in his mind, without regret, and he won in the battle against the Malach Ha-Maves (Yetzer Ha-Rah).

So the Yetzer Ha-Rah is always testing us to try to make us fall in our times of trouble. We must strengthen ourselves in our times of trouble.

(The above is based on Rav Y. Frand, tape of Chayei Sarah).

Rav Chaim Shmulevitz Zt"l writes in his Sefer Sichos Mussar and explains that we as human beings are given the gift of being able to adapt to our living conditions. No matter how difficult we may find our lives, we each have the ability to survive. As we saw during the holocaust, since the suffering increased slowly people were able to survive through their tortures. The same was seen in the enslavement in Egypt.

Rashi tells us that Hashem told Avraham to take his "...son, the only son that he loves, Yitzchak". Hashem told him gradually, not to shock him. Thus Avraham was able to have his emotions adapt to the challenges awaiting him.

While Sarah, who was even had a greater prophecy level than Avraham, died right away. Why?

Because Sarah was suddenly overwhelmed from what she heard had transpired and died from sudden shock.

We then see the need of gradual, adaptation that is needed for a persons survival. However, one must be careful, for at times a person may be stimulated to do some spiritual endeavor, yet when the time goes by, he looses his original stimulation, and slowly becomes insensitive to its demands. Thus one must constantly renew and revitalize those stimuli that serve in elevating a person.

This is many times found by a Bal-Teshuva, for we are all Balei-Teshuva.

We get stimulated to change our ways, Daven with more Kavanah, and as time goes on we get adapted to our way of Davening and we loose our original stimulation, and our Tefila turns into a routine.

We must constantly find ways to increase our level of spirituality, and keep the Satan out. We at times may think that we are not Davening with the right Kavanah because of the place we are Davening in, or because someone got us angry yesterday. Yet that is not so, all is in our hands to pour out our hearts to Hashem.



Yitzchak went to Daven to Hashem in the field, Chazal say that we learn from this that Yitzchak went to pray to Hashem towards the evening.

The Chazal say that Yitzchak was Metaken Mincha.

The Tefilah that we say in the afternoon, is called Mincha.

This Tefilah takes place at the same time that the Korban Mincha was brought in the Beis Ha-Mikdash, with the Korban Ha-Tamid.

There are two main times that one may Daven Mincha.

1) Mincha Gedolah - This is when the day is still long, which is 6.5 hours after Zericha (the start of the day). It goes, until 9.5 hours after Zericha.

2) Mincha Ketana - Towards the end of the day, from 9.5 hours till the end of the day.

# Note: The times are "Shaot Zmaniot".

It is preferred that if one has the choice to Daven with a Minyan, Mincha Ketana is preferred. The reason for this is because, Tefilas Mincha is said now a days like the Korban Ha-Tamid. And since the Korban Tamid was brought from 9.5 hours of the day, this is the best time for Mincha.

Yet when Erev Pesach falls out on Erev Shabbos, the Tamid was brought from 6.5 hours, thus there are those that permit even L'chatchila to Daven from 6.5 hours of the day.

One should be careful to finish ones Davening before Shekiah (Sunset).

There are those that say that it is even preferred to Daven before Sunset without a Minyan, if the only Minyan available is after Sunset. (M.B.)



On Erev Shabbos, one must Daven Mincha before he accepts the Shabbos.

If one already accepted the Shabbos, he can not Daven anymore the Mincha for the weekday, he must Daven in Maariv of Shabbos, two times the Shmonei Esrei of Friday night (it has the same Din of Tashlumim).

For example a women that Davens Mincha Erev Shabbos, must first Daven Mincha then light candles. Yet if she lights before Shabbos, she can say that she is not accepting Shabbos until she finishes Mincha. A normal lighting is considered that she already accepted Shabbos. And it is like she did it by-accident, thus she can say Maariv twice. (Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Shelita)

Order of Preparation and Praying


There are those that give Tzedakah before they start Davening Mincha(Kaf Ha-Chaim).

There are those that say Parshas Hatamid before Ashrei. And there are those that also say "Pitum Ha -Ketores". (Ramah, M.B.)

One shouldn't start Ashrei until there is a Minyan present in Shul.

If a majority of the Minyan for Mincha didn't Daven yet Mincha, and they have a few people that make up the Minyan, which already Davend Maariv, they can join into the Minyan, in order to say the "Chazan's repitition".

Yet when we are dealing with Mincha before Shabbos, they should not add those that already Davend Maariv.

Sim Shalom or Shalom Rav?


There is a difference of opinion whether one says "Shalom-Rav" or "Sim Shalom" at Mincha (all agree by Maariv that we say Shalom-Rav).

The Ramah says that we say Shalom-Rav by Mincha, except in a case of Taanis Tzibbur or Mincha on Shabbos afternoon, there he holds to say Sim Shalom(also by Mincha or Neilah on Yom Kippur).

There is another opinion that holds, one should say Sim Shalom, in every Mincha, and not Shalom Rav. (M.B. brings it down)

If one forgot to say Shalom-Rav, and he has the Minhag to say it by Mincha, he doesn't have to go back if he finished the Beracha.

If he didn't finish completely the Beracha, according to Rav Moshe Feinstein, it seems like he should go back and say Shalom-Rav.

While the Biur-Halacha says that even in such a case where one didn't finish the Beracha yet, he doesn't have to go back.

(Above based on Sefarim - Tefilah Kehilchasa, Eshei Yisroel)

(For final Psak, please ask your Local Reliable Orthodox Rabbi).

Other Halacha Issues:

Giving thanks for Good things (Pasuk 24:52)