Parashat Chayei Sarah

(The Life of Sarah)

Genesis 23:1 - 25:18

I Kings 1:1 - 1:31

In this Torah portion, Sara dies at the age of 127. Abraham searches for a place to bury her and settles on Machpelah. Abraham searches for a wife for his son, Isaac. Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac. The servant meets Rebecca at a well, where she provides water for him and his camels. Abraham marries Keturah and has six more sons. He then dies at the age of 175.


Chayei Sarah: The Reverberations of Familial Violence

The lingering trauma of Isaac’s near-sacrifice is felt in his relationship with his wife Rebecca and in the generations that follow.

More on this Torah Portion

Abraham’s Blended Family

The relationship between Sarah and Hagar — and their two sons — is more complicated than you think.

The Miracle in Sarah’s Tent

How the matriarchs' homes resembled and inspired the Temple.

Inside Rebecca and Isaac’s Marriage

Why does Rebecca end up deceiving her husband?

Opening the Gaps in Patriarchy

How Rebecca helped empower women.

Rereading Hagar

Some want to read Hagar back into the story, giving her character new subtleties and possibilities.

Was Abraham’s Second Wife Really Hagar?

None of the commentaries questioned the legitimacy of the relationship between Abraham and Keturah.

Living A Full Life

The deaths of Abraham and Sarah.

Praying in the Fields

For Isaac, praying in nature was a crucial element of worshipping the Divine.

Memories of Mother

After Sarah's death, Isaac sees his mother live on in the values and person of his wife, Rebecca.

Sarah and the Akedah

A mother's response to the near-death of her son

A Marriage Made In Heaven?

Isaac and Rebecca serve as a paradigm for Jewish marriage, and yet, their relationship is more complex than it may appear.

Zionism: A Call To Awe And Compassion

Abraham's relationship to the Land of Israel teaches us to use it as a means of building a just and compassionate society.

Valuing Kindness

Abraham and Rebecca, known for their kindness, are strong role models for us.

Prayer: Service Of The Heart

Abraham's servant teaches us the power of spontaneous prayer, a concept that challenges our contemporary focus on consistency and conformity.

Revering Rebecca

Rebecca provides a model of a powerful biblical woman who asserted her independence and her control over the future of the covenant.

Being Blessed With Everything

The Midrash explains what it means that Abraham was blessed with everything and what a blessed life could mean for us.

Reconciliation and Forgiveness

Even Isaac and Ishmael were able to set aside their distance and differences to focus on what united them.

Sarah’s Legacy

The greatest tributes to Sarah's life were the achievements and character of her son Isaac.

Parashat Chayei Sarah: Restoring Good Memories

The Torah urges us to remember the years of strength and virtue whenever possible.

Honoring Parents

We must teach our children how to honor parents properly.

Choosing to Do Chores

Chayei Sara: A resource for families.

Parashat Chayei Sarah Quiz

Test your knowledge of this Torah portion.

Haftarah for Chayei Sara

In David's weakest moment, his throne becomes vulnerable.

Parashat Chayei Sara: Summary

Following the death of Sara, Abraham purchases a burial plot and sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac.

Where Was Sarah?

Sarah's death illustrates the flaw of attempting to impose perfect justice on an imperfect world.