The Torah says that after Avraham purchased the field and the Cave from Efronויקם השדה  and as Rashi points out “the location had an aliya by leaving the ownership of a mundane person and becoming possessed by Avraham who was a tzadik“. Yes it really does matters to mundane objects to whether they can be elevated to a greater closeness to their creator. When the stones argued which one of them should be designated to serve as a protection or pillow for YaakovAvinu, this episode also affirms that physical articles appreciate when they are used for kedusha purposes and thereby sanctified. The passuk in Aichah statesדרכי ציון אבילות מבלי באי מועד  the pathways leading to Zion are mourning because since the Churban no one travels on them to ascend to the BeisHamikdash.

Interestingly, three pessukim later the Torah writes ויקם השדה etc. again, reiterating that when Avraham bought this property there was a spiritual upgrade. What is the Torah adding in the second mentioning of the purchase of Avraham? The answer is that in the second passuk it mentions that Avrahambought the property for a אחוזת קבר a burial place for Sarah Imeinu. For not only does the cave have a new spiritual owner but inside the cave Sarah Imeinu was buried which elevated the cave even more than before. Let us remember that Adam and Chava were already buried there and yet with Sara’s kevurah in the same place the cave nevertheless ascended to a even higher spirituality because another tzaddik was added. We can glean from this that every mitzvah and tikkun hamidos that one experiences adds kedusha and closeness to Hashem for the individual. Avodas Hashem never reaches a plateau or ceiling that says we are already full and no more is necessary.

The Yesod Veshoresh Haavodah writes concerning immersing in a Mikveh that the greater number of immersions that he makes elevates his status of praiseworthiness. Every single tevilah brings upon oneself a higher kedushawhether it is during the week or on Shabbos. A person who sanctifies himself on earth activates a sanctification bestowment on him from above. We see from this that even a simple repeated act of kedusha adds immensely to the spiritual upgrade and worth of an individual.  

One can have a beautiful vessel and yet with special contents it can make the vessel even more prestigious than before as we see from MeorasHamachpeilah. Let us take for example the human organs of one’s head and heart. In the head is the intellect and in the heart are the middos. The brain is a miraculous organ of which to the medical field still remains an enigma. If one fills his head with holy thoughts then these contents upgrade one’s head to be an even more spectacular vessel. If one unfortunately uses his head to store contents of rubbish and evil and uses it for non virtuous tasks, he cheapens and sabotages his miraculous vessel, a G-d given gift, and stunts his growth to become closer to Hashem.

We can see this very clearly from the comparison of Avraham and Noach. The Baal Haturim writes that three times we find the lashon ויטע  he planted. The first is by Hashem ויטע גן בעדן   Hashem planted a paradise. The second is found by Noach ויטע כרם he planted a vineyard. The third is by Avraham ויטע אשל  he planted an oasis. Since they all share the same word it teaches that the vines that Noach planted and the oasis that Avraham planted both came from the same Gan Eden. Yet look at the contrast and the after effect of their deeds. One ended in a horrific tragedy and the other an incredible success story. Noach planted this Gan Eden shoot and he drank from its wine and became intoxicated in a drunken stupor, lying naked in his tent and was molested by his son. Avraham planted his Gan Eden shoot and brought about a humongous Kiddush Shem Shamayim by bringing droves of people to the recognition and consciousness of Hashem.

All of us constantly receive a flow of different vessels from Hashem. However, the question is what contents do we fill them with. We are gifted with a house, yet what objects, attitudes, haskafos and middos do we also allow and infuse into our house. We have the great blessing of having children yet we must ask ourselves what information and experiences are we filling their heads and hearts with. We are given the gift of Shabbos that bathes us with a light from the Next World but how do we spend this special day? The vessels are from Gan Eden but the contents, quality and purpose of the usage can take a Gan Eden and transform it into a Gehenim chas veshalom.

In the parsha we have the episode of Eliezer being sent on a mission seeking a shidduch for his master’s son Yitzchak. Chazal tell us that Eliezer had a daughter which deep down in his heart he would have liked her to become Yitzchak’s kallah. He realized that first choice at Yitzchak he definitely does not have for he is cursed as he was a descendant from Cham, but maybe if nothing works out he might have a second shot at the shidduch. Yet Chazal relate that Eliezer fought off his self interest his נגיעות, and he made sure that the shidduch would go through without any unconscious driven snags or hurdles from his part. Because of his super discipline and bittul to his master, he successfully changed his reality from being cursed to being blessed בוא ברוך ה’ . Here we have testimony that not only did the inanimate Meoras Hamachpailahundergo a super ugrade of holiness, but even one who was cursed and doomed forever together with all his descendants was still able to transform his former identity and rise above darkness into the light of Hashem.

The Meoras Hamachpeila is the entrance to Gan Eden as Chazal teach us. We suggest that there is an allusion to this in the parsha itself. We find throughout the sale and purchase a prominent mentioning of a שדה which was included in the purchase of Avraham from Efron aside from the actual Cave.  Sometimes it is mentioned independently of the cave as in passuk 11, 17, and sometimes it is part of the Cave as in passuk 19. In the Aishes Chayil which was the actual eulogy of Avraham for Sarah, the focus in also on the שדה without any mention of the Cave זממה “שדה” ותקחהו. See also passuk 13 נתתי כסף השדה קח ממניagain without mention of the Cave, the actual burial spot. What is this שדה that Avraham was dealing with?

The seforim tell us that there exits a profound relationship between the two words of שקר  and שדה in that one can transform the letters of שקר to שדה. To do so, one must first remove the leg of the ק dividing it into two segments, one large and one small. Next he is to place the larger part in the ר at its bottom left, transforming the ר into a ה. One continues with the smaller remaining part of the leg of the ק and places it on the top right corner of the former letter ק(which became a ר without its leg), thereby transforming the present ר into a דwith a protrusion and ledge on top. He has now completely transformed the word שקר  into שדה.

What is this particular avodah for us? When Yaakov was taking the berachosfrom Yitzchak, the Torah describes his entrance to his father with the words וירח את ריח בגדיו and Rashi comments (Bereishis 27,27) the scent of Gan Eden entered with him. The passuk calls that scent כריח שדה אשר ברכו ה’ The field of Apples (Rashi) חקל תפוחין קדישין. It seems obvious that the mentioning of שדהso many times in the purchase of Avraham was to allude to this incredible high spiritual level of this property which is the entrance to Gan Eden. It also hints to those individuals who transformed theשקר  of both, the outer world of humanity and one’s inner personal world, elevating them into a holy שדה such as the transformation achieved by our Avos and Imahos. They were very deserving and worthy of such a resting place. 

When the Ari Hakadosh ztl would go out to the שדה to receive the Shabbos with the words בואו ונצא השדה, he was not only referring to a rendezvous with a physical destination only. In a deeper meaning he was directing his followers to prepare for

Shabbos by rid from themselves all the שקר that they were involved and polluted with during the week and strive to transform themselves to the emesof Hashem’s seal in order to enable us to experience a מעין גן עדן  through our neshamah yesairah.

It is then not a coincidence that this same Eliezer became the watchman at the entrance of the Meoras Hamachpeilah as the gemarah says in Baba Basra 58 that Rabbe Banaee came to the Meoras Hamachpeilah and he met Eliezer the servant of Avraham guarding the entrance and he asked Eliezer to announce to Avraham that he was here. In fact Eliezer is hinted in reference of the MeorasHamachpeilah in the word השדה  with its four letters which is gematriah אליעזר.

Here is an interesting final note to ponder upon. If we find that Eliezer was the watchman in Meoras Hamachpeilah at the times of Rabbe Binaee, then he must have been alive for a very very long time. Who knows, he might still be standing at his post even today.

Gut Shabbos

Rav Brazil