Confronting Mortality by Counting Days
No one wants to confront their mortality. Avraham did, and he sought a way to establish a legacy
In this week’s Torah portion of Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1–25:18), Abraham realizes that he is aging, and it is time to help his son Isaac find a wife.
Marriage would guarantee future generations who would walk in Abraham’s footsteps.
To describe Abraham’s age, the Torah says that “Abraham was old, advanced in days” (Genesis 24:1). The statement “advanced in days” is an odd expression. It would make more sense to say, “advanced in years.”
Our sages teach that the use of the word “days” provides a profound spiritual insight.
Yes, Abraham was old, but during his lifetime, he did not waste time. He was advanced in “days” because he filled each day with meaning and purpose.
We should take this to heart and fill our days with acts of kindness and good deeds.
May we also take advantage of this Shabbos and recognize that it is a holy day filled with opportunities to refocus our lives to a more meaningful existence.
Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz
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