Gateway to Gan Eden

“And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years; these were the years of the life of Sarah.” – Genesis 23:1

Abraham purchases a burial plot for Sarah in the land of Canaan. This becomes the first piece of real estate that was purchased in the land that was promised to Abraham and his descendants. “Sarah died in Kiriatharba — the same is Hebron — in the land of Canaan” (Genesis 23:2). This purchase established a “foot in the door” of eternal promise for the descendants of Abraham.

“I will give to you, and to your seed after you the land where you are an outsider – the whole land of Canaan – for an everlasting possession, and I will be their G-d.” – Genesis 17:8

There is a midrash that refers to the Cave of Machpelah where both Sarah and Abraham were buried, as the gateway to the Garden of Eden. For the purposes of this essay, what may be inferred, is that those who were buried there, attained entrance into the Garden of Eden. This can be supported in regard to both Sarah and Abraham.

For Sarah, there is clue given that her soul continued to live, and where else, except for Gan Eden, where the righteous bask in the kavod (glory) of the L’RD? This clue is found in the first phrase of the parahshas, vayihyu chayei sarah, and this was the life of Sarah. The verb, vayihyu is spelled in an irregular manner, implying something that has a sense of permanence. R. Bachya explains, that this is a reference to the soul of Sarah, continuing to live on in Shamayim (Heaven).

As for Abraham, consider the following: “And Abraham expired, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:8). This phrase, “gathered to his people” (vayei’asef el amayv) is likened by Sforno to the bundle of life. The “bundle of life,” that he refers to is found in reference to a prayer expressing the intent of Abigail, David’s future wife, for the eternal well-being of David: “yet the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the L’RD thy G’d” (1 Samuel 25:29).

Author: tzvifievel

My focus is on the synthesis of psychology, religion, and writing. I have undergraduate degrees in Psychology and English. Additionally, I hold a certificate in Rubenfeld Synergy (psychophysical re-education).

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