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    Dead or alive – Chayyei Sarah

    Chayyei Sarah has a name (“The Life of Sarah”) that focusses on life – but its real theme is death.

    What this phenomenon teaches us is that life and death are intertwined. There are times when we are alive but dead, times that we are dead but alive.

    You can be dead but still alive if, despite the ending of your earthly career, you are still thought of, loved and quoted by those who survive you.

    When Joseph was faced with an ethical dilemma, he wondered what his father Jacob would have done in similar circumstances. When he saw d’mut d’yukno shel aviv – “the appearance of his father” – in front of him, he knew the answer to his quandary. Result: Jacob was still alive!

    In contrast, someone can be alive, but dead. If they have found no taste of heaven on earth, their life lacks quality.

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