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Chayei Sarah 5761
November 19 - 25, 2000 - by Reb Yosef

Avraham Avinu (Our Father Abraham) 

When we consider Avraham Avinu, we think of the person who was to begin the family of Klal Yisrael - all the Jewish people.  Naturally, we think of him as being a very great man.  To see how great, we can look at the Torah in Parshat Chayei Sarah and see how his neighbors saw him.  In Perek Chav-Gimel (Chapter 23), we read the following:

3. Abraham rose up from the presence of his dead, and spoke to the children of Heth, saying:

4. "I am an alien and a resident among you; grant me an estate for a burial site with you, that I may bury my dead from before me.":

5. And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him:

6. "Hear us, my lord - You are a prince of God in our midst; in the choicest of our burial places bury your dead, any of us will not withhold his burial place from you, from burying your dead.":

7. Then Abraham rose up and bowed down to the members of the council, to the children of Heth:

8. He spoke to them saying - "If it is truly your will to bury my dead from before me, heed me, and intercede for me with Ephron son of Zohar:

9. Let him may grant me the Cave of Machpelah which is his, on the edge of his field; let him grant it to me for its full price, in your midst, as an estate for a burial site.":

10. Now, Ephron was sitting in the midst of the children of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite responded to Abraham in the hearing of the children of Heth, for all who come to the gate of his city, saying:

11. "No, my lord; heed me! I have given you the field, and as for the cave that is in it, I have given it to you; In the view of the children of my people have I given it to you; bury your dead.":

12. So Abraham bowed down before the members of the council:

There are two very important points to think about in this section.  The first is in pasuk (verse) 6.  The Children of Heth call Avraham, and rightly so, a Prince of God.

Just as important is Avraham Avinu's reaction to their words and kindness.  Notice that he bows down to the members of the council.  In other words, Avraham, even though he was considered a Prince of God, was a humble man and a man who showed respect to other people.  It was his humility and his willingness to do the will of Hashem that made him great enough to be the father of nations.

________

Translations in Torah Portions of the week are partially taken from the ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash and from Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch Chumash

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