Is It All About Money?

October 15, 2021
Cheshvan 9, 5782
Candlelighting Time 6:02 PM

            Avrohom is forced to relocate to Egypt due to a famine. En route he becomes concerned about his wife Sara. She is beautiful and approaching an area of uncouth people he worries that they will kill him and take his wife away from him. Therefore, he requests that she should present herself as his sister and that way he will receive many gifts from the Egyptians and also his life will be spared. Certainly, that Avrohom deceived them in order to save his life his quite understandable. However, that he should also make it into a fundraiser is somewhat odd. Furthermore, it seems that amassing wealth using this pretense was uppermost in his mind since he mentioned it first and then also adds in that they will not kill him. Wasn’t that the original concern that prompted him to use this charade?

            We have a guiding principle that whatever transpired by the Patriarchs was a precursor for what would occur in later generations. Hashem told Avrohom that his journey to Egypt would pave the road many years later for his grandchildren as they also trotted down to Egypt because of a famine in their country. When they left the bondage of Egypt, they exited the land laden with much wealth. Avrohom orchestrated that event when he requested of Sara to tell them that she is his sister. He had no intent to amass wealth from the Egyptians, however, he knew that they would throw money at him in order to secure his ‘sister’ as a wife, therefore we were inundated with Egyptian treasure upon departure from that land. Although the perception of what took place seemed that Avrohom wanted to enrich himself, that was far from the truth. His intent was to further the prophecy that the Egyptians would give us whatever we wanted as long as we left since their entire kingdom was in shambles due to the plagues that they had suffered on our account. At the root of our exodus from Egypt was the merit of the women who never surrendered to their hopeless fate in Egypt. On the contrary, they continuously bolstered the hope of their husbands as they slaved upon the brutal treatment of their Egyptian taskmasters. Sara represented them as she allowed herself to be taken to Pharoah’s palace risking that he might decide to violate her. He did not and that was the original merit for generations to come.

             We now understand that Avrohom first stated that he wanted to receive gifts from the Egyptians because this was a necessity for their departure from Egypt to seize as many possessions as possible as they left. The clearance of the Egyptian possessions from their respective owners was a means of ridding Egypt of its impurity and Avrohom began that process when he proposed this subterfuge to Sara.

 It’s vital when we study the parsha to not misunderstand the depth of what is occurring and seek from the commentators what is truly the essence of the events because they shaped and promoted the emergence of our nation and formed our mandate as we continue to evolve and develop leading to the eventual redemption of our people from our bitter exile speedily and in our days.


Although we don’t see that Avrohom was favored by Hashem before he was commanded to leave his family and home country to go to the Land of Canaan, however, the mere fact that he hastened to listen to Hashem’s mandate was in of itself a clear demonstration of his allegiance and commitment to Hashem’s will.