Breishit (Genesis)The Book of Genesis is concerned with beginnings: the creation of the world and the origin of humanity. It quickly shifts its focus from universal history to the history of the Jewish people beginning in chapter 12, with the introduction of Abraham, the first Jew. The remainder of the book focuses on the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel and Leah, and Joseph. The book ends with the entire family of Jacob descending into Egypt. There are fifty chapters, divided into twelve parashiyot. The parashiyot in Breishit are: Breishit, Noah, Lech Lecha, VaYera, Chaye Sarah, Toldot, VaYetze, VaYishlach, VaYeshev, Miketz, VaYigash and VaYechi.


Chaye Sarah : What is important in life, what lessons have been learned, and what advice would we want to pass on to others.

Chayei Sara - the 'life of Sarah'- begins with Sarah's death. Abraham negotiates with Ephron the Hitite to purchase the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron as a place to bury her. Abraham then sends Eliezer, his trusted servant, to Aram Naharayim, to find a wife for his son Isaac. When Eliezer arrives at his destination, he rests by a well, and there he devises a test so that he will know the appropriate woman. Rebecca, Isaac's first cousin once removed, passes the test, and Eliezer presents her with gifts. The servant then goes to meet her family, who agree to the match, but only after confirming Rebecca's own agreement. Before she departs, Rebecca's family bless her, and then Eliezer brings her to Canaan. Isaac and Rebecca fall immediately in love, and are married. We are then told that, in his old ages, Abraham is married again to Keturah (some say she was Hagar) and has 6 more sons. At the end of the portion we are told of Abraham's death and that his two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, bury him together in the Cave of Machpelah. As a postscript, we are also told of the descendants of Ishmael, and of his death.

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