Below is a collection of Parashat Chayei Sara resources created by The Lookstein Center staff or contributed to the site by Jewish educators.
This is a growing collection. Check back soon or write to us at email@example.com if you didn’t find what you’re looking for.
DISCUSSION AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS
Question #1: How long does it take for you to judge if someone really is a good person? If you could only ask them one question to help you judge, what would that be? Abraham’s servant is given the task of finding a wife for Isaac. He asks her a key question to determine if she is a good person. How did this “test” prove the worthiness of the girl he was looking for?
Look inside the text (Bereshit 24:14),
וְהָיָה הַנַּעֲרָ אֲשֶׁר אֹמַר אֵלֶיהָ הַטִּי נָא כַדֵּךְ וְאֶשְׁתֶּה וְאָמְרָה שְׁתֵה וְגַם גְּמַלֶּיךָ אַשְׁקֶה אֹתָהּ הֹכַחְתָּ לְעַבְדְּךָ לְיִצְחָק וּבָהּ אֵדַע כִּי עָשִׂיתָ חֶסֶד עִם אֲדֹנִי – Let the girl to whom I say, ‘Please, lower your jar that I may drink,’ and who replies, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels’—let her be the one who You have chosen for Your servant Isaac. From this, I will know that You have done kindness with my master.”
Question #2: How can you reconcile after having a fight or disagreement with someone who was once close to you or a family member? On the one hand, the last time we see Ishmael is when he is banished from Abraham’s house and he almost dies of thirst. Yet when their father dies, Isaac and Ishmael join together to bury him. Imagine and discuss the conversation that took place between them which enabled them to come together and bury their father.
Look inside the text (Bereshit 25:9),
וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ יִצְחָק וְיִשְׁמָעֵאל בָּנָיו אֶל מְעָרַת הַמַּכְפֵּלָה אֶל שְׂדֵה עֶפְרֹן בֶּן צֹחַר הַחִתִּי אֲשֶׁר עַל פְּנֵי מַמְרֵא – His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre
Question #3: Eliezer asks God to send him a sign that the woman greeting him is indeed the appropriate mate for Isaac. Is it appropriate to ask God for signs? Can we expect God to respond to such requests? Do such requests turn God into our servant, rather than the reverse?
Question #4: Abraham has additional children with Keturah, but sends them away from Isaac. What happens to those descendants later in history? What kind of relationship do they develop with the descendants of Isaac? What impact may their being sent away have on them, or on Isaac Is it possible that Isaac’s desire to keep Esau close at hand is a reaction to his father’s handling of his own brothers?