Published Date: November 03, 2017
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Chayei Sara Genesis 23:1–25:18, Sarah dies at age 127 and is buried in the Machpelah Cave in Hebron, which Abraham purchases from Ephron the Hittite for four hundred shekels of silver.
Abraham’s servant Eliezer is sent, laden with gifts, to Charan, to find a wife for Isaac. At the village well, Eliezer asks God for a sign: when the maidens come to the well, he will ask for some water to drink; the woman who will offer to give his camels to drink as well shall be the one destined for his master’s son.
In this week’s Haftara Prophets reading I Kings 1:1 – 1:31, describes an aging King David, echoing this week’s Torah reading, which mentions that “Abraham was was old, advanced in days.”
King David was aging, and he was perpetually cold. A young maiden, Abishag of Shunam, was recruited to serve and provide warmth for the elderly monarch.
Seeing his father advancing in age, Adoniahu, one of King David’s sons, seized the opportunity to prepare the ground for his ascension to his father’s throne upon the latter’s passing — despite King David’s express wishes that his son Solomon succeed him. Adoniahu recruited two influential individuals — the High Priest and the commander of David’s armies — both of whom had fallen out of David’s good graces, to champion his cause. He arranged to be transported in a chariot with fifty people running before him, and invited a number of his sympathizers to a festive party where he publicizing his royal ambitions.