In the Merit of Sarah

parashas Chayei Sarah – motzei Shabbos

“And Isaac came from the way of Beer-lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the land of the South. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide; and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming.”

– Genesis 24:62-63, JPS 1917 Tanach

After the Akeidah Yitzchak (the Binding of Isaac), there is no mention of Isaac until the Torah states, “And Isaac came from the way of Beer-lahai-roi” (the Well of the Living One Who Appeared to Me). This is where Hagar was temporarily banished; she prayed there to H’Shem, Who answered her prayer. It is conjectured by chazal (the sages), that Isaac, during the long wait for Eliezer to find a wife for him, Isaac prayed at the location of that well, for Eliezer’s mission to be successful.

Afterwards, he continued on to Hebron, where he “went out to meditate in the field.” It is commented upon that this is the field of Machpaleh, located in Hebron, where his mother Sarah was buried. Therefore, it could be understood that he also prayed near his mother’s kever (grave), in hope of his beshert (soulmate), being found through H’Shem’s intervention.

As he was praying, he lifted his eyes, and saw Eliezer’s entourage with Rebecca. This immediate response to his prayer is in accord with the following pasuk (verse): “And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).

Because Isaac meditated (prayed) in the field “at the eventide,” i. e., towards evening, the minchah (afternoon prayer) is attributed to him. Additionally, the notion that he prayed at his mother’s kever (gravesite) indicates how through her merit, Isaac’s prayers ascended to H’Shem. Even today, their are many who pray at the keverim of the tzaddikim (righteous persons), especially the Patriarchs, and Matriarchs of the Jewish people. For it is believed that through their merit, the prayers ascend to the throne of G-d.

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