Chaye Sarah – Elderly Abraham

Chaye Sarah

Our forefather Avraham was one of the few fortunate people in this world who had monetary wealth, health, social mobility, power, a happy family life and anything else which could be included in “the good life.” He received all of this after many trials and difficulties. We know that he was so fortunate from one Pasuk that is:

וְאַבְרָהָם זָקֵן בָּא בַּיָּמִים וַה’ בֵּרַךְ אֶת אַבְרָהָם בַּכֹּל:  כד, א

Abraham was elder, coming of days, G-d blessed Avraham in everything.

Being Blessed with daughter can be the blessing of Everything. They said that Avraham had a named "Bakol" everything.
Being Blessed with daughter can be the blessing of Everything. They said that Avraham had a daughter named “Bakol” everything.

In one of the many explanations from our rabbis of blessed memory it was said that his life was so good that during his lifetime he tasted what existence is like in the world to come. The following are different elucidations on the word בַּכֹּל Bakol – everything.

The opinion of Rabbi Levy in Midrash Rabbah and other places is that Avraham was blessed with three things: 1) he ruled over his evil inclination. That is to say that he was in mental control of every situation. Many might consider this a boring lifestyle even calling it mind control. The real explanation of this is that if you are in control of your shadowy Evil Inclination, you can always be happy and satisfied. That is why being in control is such a great blessing. 2) His son Yishmael repented during his life time. It was great happiness to see a son who was a real creep become a good person. 3) Nothing was missing from his wealth, material wealth is unquestionably a great blessing.

The most fun explanation of what is meant by “Avraham was blessed with everything – בַּכֹּל Bakol”, Is that he had a daughter named Bakol. The great blessing that one gets from children cannot be overstated, even if they sometimes cause tribulations daughter are the blessing of everything, this is the opinion of others in the gemara (baba Batra 16b). However Rebbe Meir said that he was blessed in everything, because he did NOT have a daughter at all.

This Gemara continues to say other opinions about what might be part of everything that Avraham was blessed with. According to Rebbe Elazar Hamodaee, Avraham was a fortune teller and all of the kings of the East and the West lined up outside his tent for advice.  Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai said Avraham had a precious stone that would heal anyone that looked at it of their maladies.

Another explanation stated in the Midrash Tanhuma is that Avrham’s wife respected him. The Midrash says that four things cause premature aging: living in fear; being angry at children; a bad wife; and war. This Midrash finishes off by saying that Sarah respected Avraham and even called him “sir.” (וַאדֹנִי זָקֵן) It is very important for a husband to respect his wife. It is no less important for a woman to respect her husband. Happy family is indeed being blessed with “everything”

אבל אברהם, אשתו מכבדתו וקוראתו אדני, שנאמר: ואדני זקן, ועליה נאמר: אשת חיל עטרת בעלה (משלי יב) לפיכך כתיב ביה: וה’ ברך את אברהם בכל:

However Avraham, his wife honored him and called him Adoni as it said Adoni is old. The Pasuk “A woman of Valour is a crown on her husband’s head, therefore it says Avraham was blessed with everything.

Another midrashic explanation of the word Bakol is that Avraham kept all of the precepts in the Torah. Instead of getting involved in a discussion about the historic validity of this Midrash let us examine what our rabbis of blessed memory are trying to teach us. The lesson behind this is that it is a blessing to be able to keep the commandments of the Torah like keeping Shabbat as well as being honest.

The Talmud Yerushalmi says that Bakol – everything means that Avraham lived in a town that had a doctor, a bath house, and a court which has jurisdiction to incarcerate and punish people. Some add that it must have a vegetable store. From here we see that living in a healthy environment is a great blessing.

The Gemarah adds that in addition to this Avraham Avinu was famous around the known world for his hospitality and was respected as a powerful person. Many kings and warriors came to him for advice. He also understood the science of medicine.

 

They further said in the Midrash that Avraham was the source of blessings to others as he had a positive attitude and saw the blessing in everything. Elsewhere the pasuk says the nations will be through him.

אַבְרָהָם הָיָה מְבָרֵךְ אֶת הַכֹּל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית יב, ג): וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, מִי בֵּרַךְ אֶת אַבְרָהָם, הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְבָרְכוֹ, וַה’ בֵּרַךְ אֶת אַבְרָהָם בַּכֹּל

 

I have not discussed all of the explanations which can be included in this Pasuk: Abraham was elder, coming of days, G-d blessed Avraham in everything.

Midrash Rabah 7

ז וַה’ בֵּרַךְ אֶת אַבְרָהָם בַּכֹּל (בראשית כד, א), רַבִּי יוּדָן וְרַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה, רַבִּי יוּדָן אָמַר שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ נְקֵבָה. אָמַר לוֹ רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה עִקַּר בֵּיתוֹ שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ אֵין כָּתוּב בָּהּ בְּרָכָה, אֶלָּא וַה’ בֵּרַךְ אֶת אַבְרָהָם בַּכֹּל, שֶׁלֹא נָתַן לוֹ בַּת כָּל עִקָּר. רַבִּי לֵוִי אָמַר תְּלַת, בַּכֹּל, שֶׁהִשְׁלִיטוֹ בְּיִצְרוֹ. בַּכֹּל, שֶׁעָשָׂה יִשְׁמָעֵאל תְּשׁוּבָה בְּחַיָּיו. בַּכֹּל, שֶׁלֹא חָסֵר קֵלָרִין שֶׁלּוֹ כְּלוּם. רַבִּי לֵוִי בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי חָמָא אָמַר בַּכֹּל, שֶׁלֹא חָזַר וְנִסָּה אוֹתוֹ

תלמוד בבלי מסכת בבא בתרא דף טז עמוד ב
רבי שמעון ברבי איתילידא ליה ברתא, הוה קא חלש דעתיה, אמר ליה אבוה: רביה באה לעולם. אמר ליה בר קפרא: תנחומין של הבל ניחמך אבוך; [דתניא:] אי אפשר לעולם בלא זכרים ובלא נקבות, אלא אשרי למי שבניו זכרים, אוי לו למי שבניו נקבות; אי אפשר לעולם בלא בסם ובלא בורסי, אשרי מי שאומנותו בוסמי, אוי למי שאומנותו בורסי. כתנאי: וה’ ברך את אברהם בכל – מאי בכל? רבי מאיר אומר: שלא היתה לו בת; רבי יהודה אומר: שהיתה לו בת; אחרים אומרים: בת היתה לו לאברהם ובכל שמה; ר”א המודעי אומר: איצטגנינות היתה בלבו של אברהם אבינו, שכל מלכי מזרח ומערב משכימין לפתחו; רבי שמעון בן יוחי אומר: אבן טובה היתה תלויה בצוארו של אברהם אבינו, שכל חולה הרואה אותו מיד מתרפא, ובשעה שנפטר אברהם אבינו מן העולם – תלאה הקדוש ברוך הוא בגלגל חמה. אמר אביי, היינו דאמרי אינשי: אידלי יומא אידלי קצירא. דבר אחר: שלא מרד עשו בימיו. דבר אחר: שעשה ישמעאל תשובה בימיו. שלא מרד עשו בימיו מנלן? דכתיב: ויבא עשו מן השדה והוא עיף

רמב”ן בראשית פרק כד
ולרבותינו בזה ענין נפלא. אמרו (ב”ב טז ב) וה’ ברך את אברהם בכל, רבי מאיר אומר שלא היתה לו בת, רבי יהודה אומר בת היתה לו, אחרים אומרים בת היתה לו ובכל שמה. דרש רבי מאיר שלא היתה לו בת לאברהם, וזו לו לברכה כי לא היה יכול להשיאה רק לבני כנען הארורים, ואם ישלחנה לארצו גם כן תעבוד שם עבודה זרה כמותם, כי האשה ברשות בעלה, ואברהם לא יחפוץ שיצא זרעו הכשר משרה אשתו חוצה לארץ, ואף כי יעבוד עבודה זרה. ורבי יהודה דרש כי בת היתה לו, דאפילו ברתא לא חסריה רחמנא (שם קמא א), והיא הברכה בכל, כי היה לו כל אשר יחמדו האנשים לא חסר דבר. ובאו אחרים והזכירו שם הבת:

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