The Lesson of the Acquisition by Eli Gurock


This Parsha begins by describing the negotiations between Avraham and Ephron for Me'aras HaMachpeilah, the cave which Avraham wanted to purchase as a burial place for Sarah. The details presented in this section cause the commentaries to raise a question. Why did the Torah, which is usually so careful to place great significance on each word, and thus never waste a single word, give us a lengthy and exact description of this purchase. Some explain that since ten references to the חתים, the Hittites, which is the name of the tribe which originally owned that land, are found here, there is a hint to the Aseres HaDibros, the Ten Commandments. Perhaps the Torah gives us all these details in order to provide us with this hint. The connection may be that promoting the business interests of a righteous man is comparable to fulfilling the Mitzvos found in the Ten Commandments. This may be a reference to the fact that the Hittites supported Avraham from the beginning when he wished to purchase the plot; they explained the financial aspects of the land, promoted his interest in Ephron, and were even witnesses to the purchase. They thus served a person who constantly served Hashem.

The goal of the Mitzvos, which are compared here to promoting the business interests of a Tzaddik, is to provide a means for man to serve Hashem. By assisting one who himself serves Hashem, one is indirectly serving Hashem as well. Even these non-Jews, the Hittites, displayed their honesty by admitting who the correct owner of the land really is, and what the land is truly meant for. They were interested in serving Avraham because he was a servant of Hashem, as the Torah says (בראשית כ"ג:ו'); serving Avraham is thus connected to the Aseres HaDibros and the Mitzvos in general. We should try and have this same attitude in both religious and human affairs when dealing with other people, especially if they are servants of Hashem.


The Greatness of Sarah by Michael Kleiner

Rivkah's Nurse by Yaacov Cooper