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LOVE LIVES ON

by Micah Gimpel    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

In the description of the burial of Abraham at the end of this week's portion, the Torah specifies the exact location of this great person's final resting place: "His sons Isaac and Yishmael buried him in the M'arat HaMachpelah, in the field of Ephron. . .the field that Abraham had bought from the people of Chet, there is buried (kover) Abraham and Sarah his wife" (Genesis 25:9).

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In the description of the burial of Abraham at the end of this week's portion, the Torah specifies the exact location of this great person's final resting place: "His sons Isaac and Yishmael buried him in the M'arat HaMachpelah, in the field of Ephron. . .the field that Abraham had bought from the people of Chet, there is buried (kover) Abraham and Sarah his wife" (Genesis 25:9). The word "kover - is buried" implies that only now did both Abraham and Sarah find their final resting place. Of course, Sarah passed away many years before. In fact, the details of Abraham's burial recalls his purchasing this plot of land at the time of Sarah's burial. As such, we would have expected the verse to have said that Abraham was buried "next to his wife".

However, the implication of the verse's terminology reveals an important mentality in the relationship between the people involved. Abraham and Sarah expected to live a long, happy life together, sharing in all their experiences. Unfortunately, life often splits a couple, leaving one of them in this world longer than the other. The burial of Abraham next to Sarah symbolized their everlasting desire to stay together. But the implication of their being buried at the same time expresses both Abraham's feeling for Sarah even after she died and her feelings for him.

So long as Abraham was alive, Sarah's memory and presence never left. He never forgot her and he ensured that her presence was still felt even when she was no longer there. His entire personality captured part of what Sarah was, and therefore she still played a lively role in Abraham's life. Only when Abraham died was Sarah's presence lost from the world. Only when he was buried was the real remnant of Sarah also buried.

Similarly, Sarah never found her final resting place until Abraham was with her again. Although she had been buried years earlier, her soul never reached its place of complete serenity until her soul-mate could escort her there and stay there with her. Death only breaks physical bonds. True love never dies.

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Micah Gimpel, a graduate of Yeshiva Atlanta and Yeshiva University, is studying at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel.

You are invited to read more Parshat Chayei Sarah articles. 

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