Abraham’s Fulfilled Life

The Keli Yakar noticed a slight difference in the wording of the Torah, in describing the number of years, that both Avraham and Sara lived.

After telling us that Sara lived 127 years, the Pasuk ends with the words, “and these were the years of Sara.” In contrast, when we are told that Avraham lived 175 years, the Pasuk ends just like it did with Sara, but added two important words, אשר חי, “that he lived.”

The complete ending by Avraham was, “And these were the years of Avraham that he lived.” The Keli Yakar viewed these two extra words as being very significant.
Avraham’s life were filled with meaning and significance throughout his life. He really “lived” from a young age until his death. He was always accomplishing, and found fulfillment in all that he did. At three years old, he discovered G-d. He dared to be different and managed to make a huge impact on the entire world.

Sara, or any woman for that matter, does not have that same fulfillment. Women have to go through childbirth and raising children. In addition, they need to deal with taking care of their husbands, which also has its challenges. They are not as free as the man, because of all the duties placed on them. This is why it did not say, אשר חיתה, regarding Sara.

We can only emulate Avraham and his lifetime achievements. He was focused from a young age, as to what he needed to accomplish. We may not be expected to be Avraham Avinu, but it is never too late to gain a focus and determination regarding how we need to contribute to the world.

We begin with serious soul searching and self analysis. This should lead to a desire to do what is right in “the eyes of G-d.” After this, we learn to apply our G-d given gifts, to make our contribution.

The Jewish nation needs us at our best. All of us, can make a difference. Now, more than ever, the world needs to see the Jew, as the symbol of all that is good and decent. We all have a task. We need to go out there and fulfill it.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at