How deep are the Jewish people’s roots in the Land of Israel? Where does the connection begin?
For much of the last three parshiot, we have followed the lives of Abraham and Sarah as they leave Ur in Mesopotamia, make their way to the Land of Israel, live a nomadic life wandering the land and raise their family.
But their mark on the Land is like that of the wind. Had they died, their memories might have been erased.
But in this week’s parsha something changes. Sarah dies and Abraham buys a burial place for her, the Cave of Machpela, from Ephron the Hittite. He is offered the site for free, but Abraham demands to pay. He wants to establish his claim, not to accept it as a gift, but rather to take possession for all time.
This cave becomes the burial site of our patriarchs and their remains establish the Jewish people’s roots in the land for all time.