Chayei Sara – The Ride We Call Life

By Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui


“And Abraham came to eulogize Sarah and to cry for her.”  In the original Hebrew, in the Torah, one of the letters in the word to cry, is written in a smaller font. Our sages tell us, because Abraham didn’t cry very much over the death of Sarah, he knew he would soon see her.

Rabbi Chaim Vital the faithful student of the great mystic Rabbi Yitzchok Luria tells us: A person is his soul, while his body is no more than a garment to the soul. When we see a person approaching us, most people give their attention, not to the watch the person is wearing or to the clothing, but to the body inside the clothing.  We consider the person driving the car, and not the car that is being driven by a person.

Taken a little further and more accurately, the same approach needs to be regarding the body of a person versus the soul energy inside. The body is merely the exterior, manipulated and controlled by the will of the soul inside.  The health and wellbeing of the soul is what matters most.

In 2009 a very dear person, loved by everyone, a teacher and father was brutally murdered in Israel, his name was Meir Chai. The name Chai, means life. Twelve years earlier Meir was involved in an accident. He was pronounced clinically dead. His soul went up to heaven and he pleaded with G-d not to take his soul back. He had a wife and children and was a teacher in a school. He was told, he had twelve more years, and he came back to life. At that time the name Chai-to life was added as a channel of extra blessings of life for himself.

Exactly twelve years to the day, his life was brutally ended. This story was told over by the family during the seven days of mourning.

Let’s say you’re taking a bus ride from Miami to Jacksonville. At Fort Lauderdale another person gets on the bus and you develop an interesting conversation with this fellow and a liking to him. Before you know it you’ve already come to Melbourne and he is about to leave. You plead with him to stay, you feel a strange deep attachment with this person. But he insists he has to get off now.

You argue with him, but you came on after me why are you leaving so soon. And he answers, I came on the bus from where I live and I am getting off to where I, need to get off.

Life is very similar.

We wonder sometimes why is it that some people seem to die young and others seem to live forever. The answer is, life as we know it in this world doesn’t start and neither does it end with this ride. We all come from somewhere, and each one of us has a unique mission and journey to take.

Off course when a loved one passes away it’s difficult to part, but it’s only temporary.  In this short ride we need to make the best of every moment so when we get to our destination we take from the bus all that is necessary, all the good deeds, for our next chapter of the soul’s life.

When I am driving in my car there is this moment, the ones that are behind me and the big traffic jam up ahead that I have no idea I am about to encounter. The one in the helicopter, a little higher up in the sky can see all that, with one glance.

While from our perspective, the past the present and the future are three different tenses. To G-d, it’s all the same. G-d who sees the whole picture will one day with the coming of the Moshiach help us understand and make sense of the many experiences that are difficult for us today.


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