This weeks Parsha Chayei Sarah
First in order to discuss this parsha we have to experience a series of events. All of these events are interconnected. Let's see how.
Sarah's loss means a potential loss of connection with the Shekinah the divine feminine. The first thing Abarham wants to do is to prepare and purchase a burial place. Everything which follows in this story takes place because of the need to reestablish the earthly presence of the Shekinah in the line of Abraham's people. More on this later now on to Heth
Abraham chooses Heth to negotiate for a burial place. Cheth Tav. In a sense the beginning and the end of life and then the continuation of faith through the generation of new life. Simply put thought serves its purpose and then is put to rest while the sparks inherent in the revelation of thought may never be extinguished. Four hundred shekels for the purchase of the field. It is the number of Tav. It is important for the renewal of the lifeforce and its ongoing inspiration that Abraham purchase this field along with the cave of Machpelah.
Here are some midrashim I thought were interesting that I found on the net.
The name of "Machpelah" (= "the doubled one") belongs, according to the Rabbis, to the cave alone, their reasons for the name being various: it was a double cave, with two stories (Rab); it contained pairs of tombs (Samuel); it had a double value in the eyes of people who saw it; any one buried there could expect a double reward in the future world; when God buried Adam there He had to fold him together (Abahu; 'Er. 53a; Gen. R. lviii. 10). Adam and Eve were the first pair buried there, and therefore Hebron, where the cave was situated, bore the additional name of "Kirjath-arba" (= "the city of four"; i.e., of the tombs of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah ('Er. 53a; Soah 13a; comp. Gen. R. lviii. 4).
According to Pir e R. El. xxxvi., the cave of Machpelah was at Jebus, and the reason that induced Abraham to buy it was the following: When Abraham went to fetch the calf for his guests (comp. Gen. xviii. 7) it escaped to the cave of Machpelah. Abraham ran after it, and when he entered the cave he saw Adam and Eve lying in their beds as though they were sleeping, while lighted candles were around them, exhaling a fragrant odor. Abraham, filled with a desire to possess the cave, determined to buy it at any price. The Jebusites, however, refused to sell it to him until he had sworn that when his descendants conquered the land of Canaan they would spare the city of Jebus (Jerusalem). Abraham accordingly took the oath, and the Jebusites inscribed it on brazen idols which they placed in the markets of the city. This was the reason why the children of Benjamin did not drive out the inhabitants of Jebus (Judges i. 21). Abraham secured his purchase of the cave of Machpelah by a formal deed signed by four witnesses: Amigal, son of Abishua the Hittite; Elihoreph, son of Ashunah the Hivite; 'Iddon, son of Ahira the Gardite; A?dul, son of 'Abudish the Zidonite ("Sefer ha-Yashar," section "?ayye Sarah," p. 37a, Leghorn, 1870).
In the Zohar, Letters of Rav Hamanuna Saba 23. When He desired to create the world, all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet came before Him in sequence from last to first. The letter Tav saw itself fit to come forth first. It said, Master of the World, may it please you to create the world with me because I am the seal of your ring, which is Emet (truth), And as You are called so it would be most appropriate for the King to begin with the letter Tav, and create the world by me. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to it, you are worthy and deserving, but you are not suitable for the world to be created by you. You are destined to serve as a mark on the foreheads of the faithful one, who have kept the Law of the Torah from Aleph to Tav, but when you appear they shall die (Tract. Shabbat 55, col. A). Not only that, but you are the seal of the word Death, And because of this, you are not suitable for Me to create the world with you. It then immediately left.
Okay so this is where we may infer that Tav is associated with death. What Abraham is establishing here is a legacy of renewal. This cannot be overemphasized because it is the key to both the renewal of the temple in Jerusalem along with the appearance Mashiach. All of this may take place because our thoughts have been directed towards the holiness within.
After Abraham establishes the legacy of renewal he continues this theme by sending his servant to find a bride of his people for Isaac. There are several levels to this action as it is explained and unfolds. First it is Abrahams intention that is becoming realized. This intention is associated with Chesed on the Tree of Life. What we are considering here is the ongoing generation of Abraham's revelation of YHVH. Next Abraham wants to insure that this revelation is carried forward and that nothing interferes with it. Abrahams servant asks for clarification and gets it immediately. Another way to view Abrahams servant is to look at Abraham as inspiration and his servant as mind. Mind is the Servant of inspiration. When Mind follows inspiration all is well. In this case Abraham gives both the inspiration and instructions to Mind to follow the course that inspiration has laid before it. The third level is the level of the Shekinah that is a continuing theme throughout the Torah. It is through Sarah and because of her merit that both Abraham and Sarah are able to communicate with the Shekinah. Now that Sarah has passed Isaac has lost this connection and Abraham realizes the importance of giving Isaac back a means to continue with his conversations with the Shekinah. What the Shekinah represents for both Abraham and Isaac is their inner space where the temple of YHVH is constructed out of their thoughts and the rising level of communion-connection that the Shekinah provides within. Indeed the common thread throughout all of Torah is when this connection is strong or when it is weak.
What is the criteria upon which the servant (Mind) bases his selection of the maiden suitable for Isaac? First (Mind) has a revelation that speaks in detail as to the events that are to come. This revelation is once again the Shekinah speaking within. (Mind)The Servant has clear instructions from Abraham. He is to listen only to Revelation in choosing Isaac's bride. When Rivkah acts in exactly the way that was seen in the Servant's vision, he knows that Rivkah is the one. The jewels that he gives her are the tokens of wisdom and understanding representing the brilliance of the shining temple within that she is asked to now be a part of. She understand this without asking which is why her response at the well remains true to the vision. What is shared her at the well? It is water which means consciousness or awareness of divinity. This sharing of connection means that everyone is on the same page which is why with one voice do they hear and with one action do they act or obey.
Once again the jewels are given as tokens of the mystery but before this takes place the specifics of the Servant's vision are presented and all understand the meaning of such a revelation. In their world it is holiness and specifically the inward temple presided over by the Shekinah that guides their actions. This is why they cannot refuse and agree to give over Rivkah because it is YHVH that 'has spoken.'
The brother and mother of Rivkah want to keep her for perhaps ten more days. The servant rightly reminds them that he should not tarry because this is YHVH's will that must be listened to.
Rivkah is asked for her consent which she gives immediately. She recognizes her place in this scheme of things.
Isaac has been meditating on the Shekinah (the feeling presence of holiness) in the field (which is mind) and then comes forward to meet Rivkah. In some translations Rivkah means 'binding with love,' This is the second binding of Isaac now with the Shekinah. The first was a binding of faith as the angel interceded with Isaac and Abraham with the ram of sacrifice. The third and final binding of Isaac will be the binding of the blessing of Jacob carrier of the wisdom of the holiness within and what this will mean to the future descendants of Jacob.
The actions of man cannot be blessed except through the Shekinah. It is why man cleaves to his wife in order for both to experience the bliss of heaven through their holy union through marriage. Man conceives while woman receives. The object of every blessed union is to contemplate the holiness within through one a sacrifice of negativity, two, a binding of the love between them and three the blessings that issue forth from this holy attention in terms of progency, good will and continuation of the will of YHVH.
Mind keeps on making even in the absence of the presence of inspiration as represented by Sarah. What is made evolves its own level of manifestation. The children that become the nations spoken of here are the outgrowth of Mind that must continue to grow into the connections represented by his new wife and his children. One of the meanings for Keturah is 'incense.' Incense is a fragrance that passes in wisps of smoke and is gone in remembrance of the inspiration that is abiding. In Abraham's own way he is remembering the presence of the Shekinah by his marriage to Keturah keeping his ideas flowing and making connections through the holiness of his inner garden.
The thought, the idea and the vessel that is Abraham has become transformed.
Both sons bury Abraham. Abrahams son's are representative of the ideas of generation that have issued from the his contemplations. Both now stand on their own and must generate using what their father has left them.
Abraham has given Isaac the wisdom of Kabbalah or the knowledge of the way within to build the temple and create the holy inner space. This is a legacy more precious than anything. The other children receive gifts according to their merit. These gifts if applied judiciously will still lead to the creation of the inner garden but these children of Abraham must study to rise to this level of awareness.
Ishmael born before Isaac passes before Isaac. Again the idea, the vessel and the thought that is Ishmael now continues in his sons or the results of his own particular meditations.
Due to the contemplation of the Shekinah through the inspiration of Rivkah or the binding of love Isaac sees through to the true meaning of expression as his own inner garden gets set to produce its own blossoms of awareness and deep inner meaning.