Gates Parshas Chayei Sarah November
Welcome to Beyond
Twelve Gates. The 950th time is a charm.
In the news this week was a story about a woman in South Korea
who tried to pass the written exam for a driver's license with near-daily attempts
since April 2005. She finally succeeded -- on her 950th time. The
aspiring driver spent more than $4,200 in application fees, but until this
month failed to score the minimum 60 out of a possible 100 points needed
to get behind the wheel for a driving test. Now she must pass a driving
test. Good luck!
John D. Rockefeller once said,
"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of
any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything,
even nature." If we're tempted to give up, that
moment might be just the place and time that the tide will turn. Whether
it be in our effort to learn something new or in a struggle with a
difficult situation or relationship -- remember that the 950th time is a charm.
Chayei Sarah Genesis 23:1 -- 25:18
Chayei Sarah begins with Sarah's death at the age of 127 and Abraham's search
for a proper burial place which would be worthy of her greatness. Abraham
is conned by Ephron (a member of the Hittite nation which lived in the land of Israel) into
paying an extremely large sum of money for her place of burial.
Sarah is buried in M'arat MaMachpelah -- the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron.
Do you know who else is buried there?
sends his faithful servant Eliezer back to the old country (Aram Naharaim --
City) to find a suitable wife for Isaac. Eliezer
devises a plan by which he will find a modest, generous and kind girl, fitting
for his master's son. Eliezer decides to stand by the town's well,
waiting for a girl to offer him and his camels water to drink. Suddenly
Rebecca appears and exerts great effort to draw water for a stranger and his
ten camels. She brings Eliezer to her father's house, whereupon Abraham's servant
asks that Rebecca return with him to marry Isaac. She accepts, and they
are married. The Torah states that "Isaac married Rebecca ....and he
loved her.." This teaches us that true love comes after marriage,
November again. Veteran's Day was commemorated earlier this week. There
is a quotation variously attributed to Winston Churchill
or George Orwell.
Regardless of our individual politics, regardless of our beliefs about the
rightness or wrongness of a particular war, the words are worth reflecting upon
anew this week -- particularly in light of the recent tragedy at Ft. Hood, Texas.
"We sleep soundly in
our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those
who would do us harm."
It is difficult to visualize the pain of our soldiers'
repeated and extended tours of duty in Iraq
It is difficult to put ourselves into the “shoes” of the husband or wife
of a Regular Army or National Guard soldier
going off for a long deployment. A spouse is left
home trying to run the house, raise the kids, find the money to pay the
mortgage…all the while worrying if their loved one will return home in one
piece -- or will return home at all.
speaking, Veterans Day is to honor U.S. Veterans. At our synagogue,
however, we also mention and honor the brave soldiers of the Israel
Defense Forces who, along with American soldiers and veterans, pay a steep
price so that in America and in Israel we may "sleep soundly in our beds." May G-d bless all
our soldiers and veterans.
Quote of the Week
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today and make a new ending -- Maria Robinson
Joke of the Week
An older man is sitting at the back of a
crowded bus in Israel,
jam-packed with passengers. He suddenly begins to moan, "Oi, am I
thirsty…! Oiiiiii, ammmm IIIII thirsty…" he kvetches loudly. Ten, twenty,
thirty minutes go by, and he's still complaining. Everyone on the bus can hear
him and he's driving the other passengers crazy. Finally, somebody begs
the bus driver to stop the bus so they can get this man a drink. They
pull into a rest stop and somebody runs in and brings him a big bottle of
water. He drinks the entire bottle without coming
up for air. The bus pulls out and everybody breathes a sigh of
relief. Suddenly, from the back seat, "Oi, was I thirsty.
Oiiiiiiiiiii, wassssss IIIIIIII thirsty…"
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share with a friend. Thanks to Alan Haber for his assistance in