וַיְדַבֵּ֨ר אֶל־עֶפְר֜וֹן בְּאָזְנֵ֤י עַם־הָאָ֨רֶץ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר אַ֛ךְ אִם־אַתָּ֥ה ל֖וּ שְׁמָעֵ֑נִי נָתַ֜תִּי כֶּ֤סֶף הַשָּׂדֶה֙ קַ֣ח מִמֶּ֔נִּי וְאֶקְבְּרָ֥ה אֶת־מֵתִ֖י שָֽׁמָּה:
And he spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, "But, if only you would listen to me. I am giving the money for the field; take [it] from me, and I will bury my dead there."
Hashem had promised the entire land to Abraham and his descendants. Abraham - realising that the promise would be in the future - was willing to buy a grave and associated land for his beloved Sarah.
בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא כָּרַ֧ת יְהֹוָ֛ה אֶת־אַבְרָ֖ם בְּרִ֣ית לֵאמֹ֑ר לְזַרְעֲךָ֗ נָתַ֙תִּי֙ אֶת־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֔את מִנְּהַ֣ר מִצְרַ֔יִם עַד־הַנָּהָ֥ר הַגָּדֹ֖ל נְהַר־פְּרָֽת׃
On that day HaShem made a covenant with Abram: “To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates
Although Efron's offer was not sincere - and Abraham may have known that - he could have accepted the offer, and received the grave and associated land for free.
Abraham, however, chose to pay full price - and even more than that.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch; for anything you want to achieve, especially when it comes to holy matters, you have to invest, you have to make an effort. Abraham was very aware of this. Only by paying for the grave and ground would this grave and ground elevate itself and become a holy place. A holy place that it still is today in Hebron.
Similarly, each of us has been assigned a part of the world that we must bring into the realm of holiness. We have to do this at "full price", with hard work and effort. Even those of us who find it easy to study Torah and observe its commandments must push ourselves beyond the limits of our natural inclinations. Only then can we achieve our purpose in the world.
Brought By Angelique Sijbolts
Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.
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