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Chayei Sarah: And The Living Should Take It To Heart

"For everything there is a time: A time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to weep and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

So goes the verse from the wisest of all man; King Solomon.

The challenge for us today is; what time is it now?The Jewish world has been thrust into a state of shock as a result of events in Pittsburgh last Saturday. A cold blooded malicious act of murder perpetrated against the most innocent of victims, including a holocaust survivor, whilst performing the most sacred of acts.

And this to happen in the USA! A country that has served as the greatest bastion for freedom of religion. A country that has protected millions of people from religious persecution.

How is this possible?

As Jews we have known and experienced tragedy all too often. And when we do we do best when we turn to the Torah, our timeless book of Life, for inspiration and guidance. In particular we focus on the weekly portion in order to discover It’s timely and poignant message.

As we open up the Torah this week there is a message that clearly stares out at us.

We read about the passing of the first of our matriarchs, Sarah and how her beloved husband Abraham buried her in Chevron. Yet astonishingly the name of the portion is called “Chayei Sarah” the “Life of Sarah”.

How can we possibly reconcile the two? Are not life and death two fundamentally opposing forces? Like light and dark aren’t they intrinsically incompatible.