13. "And Sarah's life was..." HE ASKS, Of all the women in the world, Why is Sarah the only one whose death is mentioned in Torah? Rabbi Chiya answered, This is not so, for it is written, "And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Efrat" (Beresheet 35:19), "and Miriam died there" (Bemidbar 20:1), "and Deborah, Rivkah's nurse, died" (Beresheet 35:8), and "the daughter of Shua, Judah's wife died" (Beresheet 38:12). THE DEATH OF MANY WOMEN IS MENTIONED IN THE TORAH.
177. "And it came to pass, before he had done speaking" (Beresheet 24:15). According to Rabbi Yitzchak, Rabbi Yehuda said while he was thinking of how to try the body, it is written, "Behold, Rivkah came out," which is the holy body that is occupied in Torah. It pounds the body for knowledge of the conception of his Possessor, "who was born to Betuel" (Ibid.). Rav Yehuda said she was the daughter (Heb. bat) of El, the "son of Milkah" (Ibid.), who is a son to the King (Heb. Malkah) of the Universe. "The wife of Nachor, Abraham's brother" alludes to the company of the mind, the body attached to the mind, and is the brother of the soul, and the phrase, "With her pitcher upon her shoulder" alludes to the weight of wisdom upon it.
180. Rabbi Yitzchak said, Gabriel leads them to the land of Yisrael. How do we know that? From the verse, "Will you go with this man?" (Beresheet 24:58). Elsewhere, it is written, "The man Gabriel" (Daniel 9:21). Rabbi Yosi asks, Why is it written, "And Rivkah had a brother and his name was Laban" (Ibid. 29)? Rabbi Yitzchak answered, The Evil Inclination does not pass away from the world, and though it is not entirely present, some of it is.
182. Come and listen, Since the body was constructed and established, why is it then written, "And they sent away Rivkah, their sister, and her nurse..." (Beresheet 24:59). What does the phrase "and her nurse" imply? It is the power of movement. Rabbi Yitzchak further clarifies this by explaining that this is the power of the body.
185. Rabbi Abahu said, First the soul was called Abraham and the body Sarah. Now the soul is called Isaac and the body Rivkah. Rabbi Shimon said, It was taught in the Mishnah that the soul awaited the body in the land of Yisrael forty years before the body existed. Where? At the Temple.
186. Rabbi Abahu said, Look at the verse, "And took Rivkah, and she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death" (Beresheet 24:67). When he loves the body and is comforted by it, it is time for laughter and delight in the world.
224. Come and behold, "And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rivkah came out" (Beresheet 24:15). HE ASKS, WHY IS IT WRITTEN "came out?" It should have been written 'came,' AS IT IS WRITTEN, "RACHEL CAME WITH HER FATHER'S SHEEP" (BERESHEET 29:6). Why is it written "came out?" HE RESPONDED, IT INDICATES that the Holy One, blessed be He, brought her away from the people of the town who were all evil. She was separated from THE TOWNSPEOPLE BECAUSE SHE WAS RIGHTEOUS. The verse, "And she went down to the well (Heb. ha'eynah)" (Beresheet 24:16) is spelled with a Hei. This is a secret because Miriam's well, THE SECRET OF THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN SHINING BY THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, chanced before her there. For that reason "to the well" is written with a Hei, WHICH ALLUDES TO THE NUKVA, THE SECRET OF THE LOWER HEI OF YUD HEV VAV HEI. ALSO THE WORD HA'EYNAH IS DERIVED FROM THE WORD FOR EYES (HEB. EYNAYIM), WHICH IS A NAME OF CHOCHMAH. And the water rose toward Rivkah.
225. Another explanation is that in the verse, "And, behold, Rivkah came out," the words "came out" have a similar meaning to that in the verse "AND THE DAUGHTERS OF THE CITY come out to draw water" (Beresheet 24:13). Why is it written, "Come out", rather than 'go' or 'come?' This is an allusion to their proper conduct. They remained at home all day and came out at a specific time toward evening to draw water. Abraham's servant recognized her by this sign.
226. Come and behold, When the servant reached Charan and found Rivkah "at the time of evening" (Beresheet 24:11), it was time for the afternoon prayer. At the exact time when Isaac said his afternoon prayer, the servant reached Rivkah. Rivkah came to him again at that time when he prayed Minchah. THIS IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE VERSE, "AND ISAAC WENT OUT TO MEDITATE IN THE FIELD AT THE EVENING TIME" (IBID. 63). This happened so that everything would be in its proper place, as indicated by the supernal Wisdom. Therefore, the servant reached the well of water, which is the secret of the verse "a fountain of gardens, a well of living water, and streams from Lebanon" (Shir Hashirim 4:15). We have established everything pertaining to that secret.
248. "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent" (Beresheet 24:67). Rabbi Yosi said that this is a difficult verse. It is literally written, "...to the tent, Sarah his mother," but it should have been written 'Sarah's tent.' What is the meaning of "to the tent?" He says that the Shechinah returned, THAT IS CALLED TENT. THEREFORE IT SAYS 'HA'OHELAH (TO THE TENT), WHICH IS THE SHECHINAH, for the Shechinah never left Sarah as long as she was in the world. And the candle burned in the tent all the days of the week, from Shabbat eve to Shabbat eve. After she died, the candle was extinguished. Once Rivkah came, the Shechinah returned and the candle burned again. "Sarah his mother" means that she resembled Sarah in everything she did.
249. Rabbi Yehuda said, "SARAH HIS MOTHER" MEANS THAT because the image of Isaac was the same as the image of Abraham, whoever saw Isaac said it was Abraham. Of course, they knew that Abraham begot Isaac, so the image of Rivkah was exactly the same as the image of Sarah. For that reason it is written, "Sarah his mother." THE IMAGES OF ISAAC AND RIVKAH WERE EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE IMAGES OF ABRAHAM AND SARAH. IT WAS APPARENT THAT ABRAHAM BEGAT ISAAC AND SARAH BORE RIVKAH.
250. Rabbi Elazar said, This EXPLANATION is exactly right, but come and behold this secret. Although Sarah died, her image did not leave the house. It remained unseen from the day she died until Rivkah came. Once Rivkah came, the image of Sarah was seen again, as it is written, "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent," but it was seen only by Isaac when he entered the tent. Therefore, "Isaac was comforted after his mother" (Beresheet 24:67), because his mother was seen and chanced before him in the house. Therefore, it is not written, 'After his mother's death,' but rather "after his mother," BECAUSE SHE NEVER DIED FOR ISAAC.
251. Rabbi Shimon then discoursed on the difference in verse that is written of Isaac, "And took Rivkah, and she became his wife; and he loved her" (Beresheet 24:67). Because it is written that "she became his wife," we should assume that he loved her as all the inhabitants of the world love their wives. What was different here, that made it necessary to add, "And he loved her?"
255. Isaac also had four WIVES, all contained within Rivkah, as it is written, "And took Rivkah," which is one, "and she became his wife," which is two; "and he loved her," which is three "and Isaac was comforted after his mother," which is four. Correspondingly Jacob had four wives, and all of them, THE TWELVE WIVES, are one secret, NAMELY THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN ALONE, WHO CONTAINED ALL TWELVE ASPECTS.
256. Rabbi Chiya said that Abraham and Isaac each performed their marital duties with one wife on the side of holiness, BECAUSE HAGAR AND THE CONCUBINES WERE NOT OF HOLINESS. Abraham did so with Sarah, and Isaac with Rivkah. In comparison, Jacob had four wives, two each REPRESENTING THE HOLY AND THE NOT HOLY. LEAH AND RACHEL REPRESENTED HOLINESS, BILHAH AND ZILPHAH REPRESENTED THE NOT HOLY THAT HE CHANGED TO HOLY. Rabbi Shimon said that these matters have reached their proper place IN HOLINESS. EVEN HAGAR AND THE CONCUBINES WERE PART OF THE SECRET OF HOLINESS, AS RABBI SHIMON EXPLAINS THAT THE TWELVE WOMEN WERE BUT TWELVE ASPECTS OF THE NUKVA. For everything is done in the secret of holiness, and all is one secret; NAMELY, ALL OF THEM ARE INCLUDED WITHIN THE SECRET OF THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN ALONE.
259. Come and behold, Rabbi Elazar said about the verse, "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent" (Beresheet 24:67) that the image of Sarah was revealed WITH RIVKAH'S ARRIVAL, and Isaac was comforted by the image of his mother, which he saw every day. Although Abraham married, he did not enter Sarah's house, nor did he allow that woman to enter, because a handmaid cannot be heir to her mistress. No other woman was seen in Sarah's tent except for Rivkah.