Shabbat Parashat Chayei Sarah| 5763
Chayei Sarah | | 1/13/2002
The second section of our parasha begins with the introduction “V'Avraham zaken ba ba-yamim”- “And Avraham was old, coming in days” (Bereshit 24:1). Most commentaries explain that this phrase is connected to the subsequent story of the search for a proper wife for his “only son,” Yitzchak. Avraham was afraid that if he did not take care of the matter of finding a wife who fit the role and destiny of Yitzchak, later on it might be too late.
The biggest leniency employed to allow the remarriage of a woman whose husband has disappeared (agunah) is the dramatic lowering of standards regarding testimony on his death. Although there is a broad rule that two “kosher” witnesses are required for all matters of marital status (Gittin 2b), here, one witness, including a host of people who are usually unfit to testify, is valid.
I want to discuss the focal point of our religious concept of the proper goals of the State of Israel. From the time the Torah was given, the ideal was that we should be a mamlechet kohanim (a kingdom of priests). When this goal is reached, the fulfillment of the mitzvot is not limited to improving the individual but to creating an entire society, which, by its proper fulfillment of the mitzvot, becomes a "State of Priests” and thereby causes a coronation of the Heavenly kingdom in the world.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).