Give me a Burial Place with you

by Hagaon Rav Moshe Shternbuch (translated from the Hebrew) Parshat Chayei Sarah 5779

cave of patriarchs

The Torah elaborates about the buying of a burial place for Sara Imeinu, how Avraham paid a very high price in order that Sara would be buried in an honourable place suitable for her. The Rishonim ask why the Tora elaborated on the purchase of a burial plot between Avraham and Efron ?  Rav Moshe Shternbuch explains that the children of Ches dd not believe in the eternity of the soul and therefore did not value the importance of a burial plot as they believe that there is nothing after life in this world and therefore the body just persishes and so there is no need to designate a special burial place for a dead person. This is the reason why Avraham gathers the Bnei Ches to show them his desire to bury Sara in an honourable burial fitting for here level, and he wanted to pay an exorbitant price to make people understand that the burying of a human being is not like that of an animal. Ahuman being that has a soul needs to buried in an honourable place according to his level in order that his soul will receive a comfortable everlasting rest. Therefore Sara Imeinu needed to be buried in the Cave of Machpeila as this was a designated place for the souls of the Righteous. Rabeinu Bachei explains that Avraham did not desire the burial plots for free as this was the place that connects the deceased to the Heavenly Throne.  The Tora elaborated on this episode to praise Avraham Aveinu that at a time that the deceased Sara Imeinu was lying in front of him and he was full of anguish he did not slacken in his consistent servie to publicize his faith in Hashem and to teach the chilkdren of Ches the importance that we attach the soul and the resurrection of the dead.

This subject is also pertinent to us that a person should find a burial plot that is fitting for his level and person should be buried close to those who are on similar spiritual level as iti si written in Gemara Sanhedrin that one should not bury a righteous person next to an evil person and not even someone who is very evil next to someone who is lightly evil.  Not only is it not good for the righteous to buried next to the evil person , but also it is bad for the evil person to be buried next to the righteous person because will ask the evil person why he was not a righteous like the person buried next to him.

Nowadays , many people want to be buried next to righteous people but they do not realise that this is not good for them , but rather they should find burial plots  next to people who are similar to  them spiritually as this is better for their souls.





Give me a Burial Place with you

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