Weekly Sidra: Chayei Sarah (Sarah’s life)
Torah Portion: Bereshit / Genesis 23:1-25:18
Haftorah: Melachim Alef / Kings I 1:1-31
Cave of Machpelah is a curious place only found in the text of Torah and Tanach in the book of Bereshit. Why? It is here because we needed insight into the death of the righteous. Avraham acquired the cave for the body of his beloved wife, who died shortly after being told to sacrifice his son on Moriah as an Olah to Hashem. But why Machpelah?
The Midrash states that during the visit of the three men/angels Avraham’s, choice calf for the meal he was going to serve to them, ran from him and he found it at the mouth of the cave. He was amazed to find that Adam and Chavah were buried there and want to be laid to rest there with them 
We find that ultimately Sarah, Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Leah, and Yoseph were buried in this site. These are the men and women represent Israel as a nation and we consider them as a model of what we are to live. But what does their deaths’ come to teach us? We can find the answer in why Avraham chose this cave in particular. Avraham was a prophet and “friend”(Isa 41:8) of Hashem was guide by Hashem in what he did.
What does Machpelah come to teach us? With the Tzadikim/Avot of Israel being buried, it is be the beginning site of the resurrection of the dead.  Additionally, we find that Machpelah מכפלה is said to come from the root כפל (kefel) which means double. According to Rashi this is significant because it has two chambers and because it houses the holy couples who are buried there.  The double can also show us that once a righteous person dies, they enter into the second chamber that is in Gan Eden (paradise). This can be shown by the story that Maran Yeshua tells in Luke 16 when he says that Elezar entered into Avraham’s bosom (i.e Machpelah/Chevron). The cave is the entrance to Gan Eden/Paradise according to holy tradition and is the picture of the next life where their portion is doubled.
Along the same line of thought, the word כפל (kefel) means to double, divide equally etc.
We find this teaching in the making of the Choshen Mishpat/ Breastplate of Judgment that the Kohen Gadol wore.
“You shall make a breastpiece of judgment, in skilled work. In the style of the ephod you shall make it–of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen shall you make it. It shall be square and doubled (רבוע יהיה כפול), a span its length and a span its breadth. (Shemot 28:15-16 ESV)
The Choshen was an item where the Umin and Tumin were place that is thought to be a parchment with the ineffable Name of Hashem was placed. Additionally, the Choshen was the vessel that houses the Divine means of communication. It was the object in which answers were given about a decree from G-d. The word also is used in Job 11:6 and Isaiah 40:2 and all have to do with speech, decreed judgment, and forgiveness or punishment. This is consistent with how it is applied in the Torah
To make the kesher (link) about Machpelah and the Choshen Mishpat is as follows:
Hashem gives us opportunity in this life to walk in His ways and choose life or walk in darkness and choose death. It is our choice how we live. The reward of both ways leads to another life, either eternal life or a life of gnashing teeth and suffering. The way of the tzadikim/righteous is a double reward. The life in this world is difficult, but the tzadikim are like Avraham and have been given everything (Bereshit 24:1) Not that he was given all the promises in his life, but his attitude was such that everything he did have was understood to be from Shamayim and thus he was content with his lot. His reward after death is eternal peace in Gan Eden in which all his sufferings and test are retroactively rewarded as it is said,
Comfort , comfort My people, says your G-d. Bid Jerusalem take heart, and proclaim unto her, that her time of service is accomplished, that her guilt is paid off; that she has received of Hashem’s hand double for all her sins. (Isa 40:1-2)
Another observation we may have noticed is that this is the first time we see a person being buried in a cave. After this, it becomes the practice of many biblical personalities to be buried in cave, with our Master being a prominent one. Why are people buried in caves in ancient Israel? If we take the information above and learn from it then we can see that Avraham Avinu also understood that a cave is a place that is full of symbolism of our life and death.
Caves are readily available in Caanan, as I stated above, Avraham saw that this cave was special. The cave, like Machpelah, points toward a time of judgment and forgiveness; Adam and Chava’s sin. It was through Adam and Chava’s sin that the angel of death was given power over mankind and thus, the need to be buried and think about life after that separation.
“But of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad, you must not eat thereof, for on the day that you eat it, you shall surely die.”( Gen 2:17)
Also, consider Paul’s writing about it for a moment:
“For since death came through man (Adam), also the resurrection of the dead has come through man. For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with Messiah all will be made alive.” (1 Cor 15:21-22)
The consequence of the sin of Adam and Chava was not only death, it was a change in the essence of man as creation. We see that Adam was made in the image of G-d, but after he sinned and had children it states that Adam had Shet “in his (Adam’s) fallen image. Adam was said to be brighter than the sun and so glorious that the angels wanted to worship him. He was made of Heavenly “matter” and essence that is hidden in us today.
The holy Zohar (36a) states that when G-d found them in their sin and saw they were hiding, He made them skins. When the text states “And Hashem God made for Adam and his wife garments of skin (עור) and he clothed them.”(Bereshit 3:21) it was said that was skin of flesh and blood like the one we have today for the body, (but not the soul). We were given a skin to clothe our supernal nature and are now able to die. A cave (מערה) who’s root word is the word for skin (עור) teaches us that a result of sin is death and the place where all our Parents were buried. Death, originally, was the result of Hashem stripping of our original glory. We became naked (עור) and ashamed of our state. Through sin we are blind (עור) to our true self, the divine self, that we were created to be. As the prophet says, “Bring out the people who are blind (עור), yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!” (Isa 43:8)
When we die, we are a naked husk, of what we were supposed to be, we are buried and are judged for good or evil as we stand before Hashem with our lives laid bare before Him who sits on the Throne. There is no escaping the eye of the King of the Universe. He will show us that our supernal souls were both wondrous with mitzvot and good deeds and stained with blood and the filth of sin and we will see, to our shame, the brilliance of what our life could have been. The question is if our merciful Father will let us enter Gan Eden with our hands so stained.
The answer lies in the same passage where Hashem cover’s us with skin. In the pashat, Hashem sacrificed an animal for us and clothed us with clothing. A sacrifice was made, and thus we were covered from our nakedness and our attempt to make right what was wrong by sewing fig leaves together. This is a picture of the Moshiach ben Yosef, Yeshua, who eternally did the same by offering himself as the sacrifice for the sins of man, so that when they do stand before Hashem and see that they are naked and become ashamed. The Holy One, blessed is He, shall ask, “Have you clothed yourself in the garments I provided for you since the foundations of the world?” If so, then He will say, “Enter in My Rest” and if not, then they will be cast out into outer darkness.
When Avraham purchase this Cave of Machpelah I believe he was led to do so. With the explanation above we can see that part of our eternal existence is connected to this Cave of Machpelah. We see can see Hashem’s justice and grace, the judgment of the righteous and the unrighteous. We see the hope that Abraham had in G-d and the symbolism in his choice behind the cave. Nothing goes unnoticed in the eyes of the King. He has given us the Moshiach, the hope of our Father Avraham as a testimony and witness of what shall come.
 Perkei D’Rabbi Eliezer 36, Bereshit Rabbah
 Eruvim 53a
 Perkei Mashiach bhM 3:73-74
 Rashi quoting Eruvim 53a
 Luke 16:19-31
 Zohar 36a
 Also see Ibn Ezra and R. David Kimchi on Gen 3:21 who quote an anonymous that states essentially the same thing.
 Rashi, Sotah 14a
Writen by The Jewish Carpenter (דוד בן גבריאל)
Tags: 1492, avot, avraham yitzchak, beloved wife, cave of machpelah, chayei sarah, curious place, gan eden, leah, melachim, Midrash, moriah, olah, righteous person, rsquo, sidra, tanach, torah portion, Yeshua, yoseph
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