Give me a Burial Place with you

By Hagaon Rav Moshe Sternbuch (translated from Hebrew) Paracha Chayei Sarah 5779

cave of patriarchs

The Torah explains how to buy a burial place for Sara Imeinu, how Avraham paid a very high price for Sara to be buried in an honorable place that suited her. The Rishonim ask why the Torah explained the purchase of a burial ground between Avraham and Efron? Rav Moshe Shternbuch explains that the children of Ches did not believe in the eternity of the soul and therefore did not value the importance of a funeral plot because they believe that there is nothing after life in this world and the body is deteriorating, so there is no need to designate a special burial place for a deceased person. This is the reason why Avraham gathers the Bnei Ches to show them his desire to bury Sara in an honorable tomb adapted to his level, and he wanted to pay an exorbitant price to make people understand that the burial of a being human is not like that of an animal. A human being who has a soul must be buried in an honorable place according to his level so that his soul receives a comfortable eternal rest. Therefore, Sara Imeinu had to be buried in the cave of Machpeila because it was a place designated for the souls of the Righteous. Rabeinu Bachei explains that Avraham did not want free funeral plots because it was the place that linked the deceased to the celestial throne. The Torah developed this episode to praise Avraham Aveinu that at a time when the late Sara Imeinu was lying before him and he was full of anguish, he did not relax in his consistent service to make known his faith in Hashem and teach the children of Ches the importance we attach to the soul and to the resurrection of the dead.

This subject is also relevant to us. A person must find a funeral parcel that suits their level and each person must be buried near those who are at a spiritual level similar to that written in Gemara Sanhedrin that one should not bury a person right next to a person evil and not even someone who is very bad next to someone who is slightly bad. Not only is it not good for the righteous to be buried next to the wrong person, but it is also bad for the wrong person to be buried next to the righteous because he will ask the wrong person why he was not a just like the person buried next to him.

Many people today want to be buried next to the righteous, but they do not realize that it is not good for them. They should find funeral plots next to people who are spiritually like them because it is better for their souls.

Give me a Burial Place with you

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