Ahaba.org Website Dedicated In Honor of Albert & Joyce Chehebar
  1. Home
  1. About Ahaba
  2. Register
  3. Texting
  4. Galleries
  5. Multimedia
  1. My Account
Sefarim
  1. Beresheet
  2. Shemot
  3. Vayiqra
  4. Bemidbar
  5. Devarim
Zemanim
  1. Shabbat
  2. Pesah
  3. The Omer
  4. Pesah Sheni
  5. Shabouot
  6. 17th of Tammouz
  7. Tisha Be'Ab
  8. Rosh Hashanah
  9. Fast of Gedalya
  10. Yom Ha'Kipurim
  11. Sukot
  12. Hanoukah
  13. Tu Beshvat
  14. Fast of Esther
  15. Pourim
  16. Pourim Missrayim
  17. Divrei Torah
Contact Ahaba
Phone: 347.702.6207
Fax: 347.702.6208
Email: info@ahaba.org
Mail: PO Box 230316
Bkyln, NY 11223
Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Beresheet: Parashat Haye Sarah: Stranger or Citizen

Contributed by: Rabbi Haim Shaul


In this week's Parasha, we read about the first Jewish purchase of land in Israel. Abraham Avinou paid top dollar for the save of Machpela. During Abraham's exchange with Ephron, he describes himself as a "Get Vetoshav" meaning "a stranger and a citizen". These are contradictory terms and Rashi comments that Abraham meant he could purchase the land as a stranger or as a citizen.

What is the difference and why does it matter?

Abraham was told in the prophetic vision of "Ben Habetarim" that his children would experience three levels of suffering:
A. They will be strangers in a land not their own for 400 years
B. They will be enslaved
C. They will be oppressed


He was not told how long each stage would be, only that the total would be 400 years.

Abraham tried to extend the first stage of "strangers n a land that is not their own" and limit the last two stages of slavery and oppression. The stage of stranger could be satisfied in relative freedom within the land of Canaan, so long as the Jews remained strangers rather than citizens. The stages of slavery and oppression would be difficult stages for he Jewish people. Therefore, the longer the period of "stranger", the shorter the stages of slavery and oppression.

When Abraham needed to purchase a burial plot he wanted to buy it as a "stranger", but if given no choice he would demand it like a citizen.

When Ephron exacted from Abraham an inflated price, we was treated like a stranger and Abraham was glad to pay the price.
Back to Sefer Beresheet
© 2017 Ahaba.org. All rights reserved. Terms of Service.
 Home | About | Register | Texting | Galleries | Multimedia | My Account