I am an American citizen living in Vancouver, British Columbia, and serving a Canadian Reform congregation for the past six years. This juxtaposition of two increasingly disparate identities has given me a unique perspective on this week’s parashah, Chayei Sarah, and its introduction of the term ger toshav, “resident foreigner.”
Chayei Sarah begins with the recording of Sarah’s death. But the fullness of Sarah’s and Abraham’s years and accomplishments leads us to appreciate the varied possibilities of living with purpose and dignitiy in old age.
In this week’s parasha, there’s some sad news: Abraham buries Sarah, and he too dies at the end. But first, a servant is sent to find Isaac a wife and we meet Rebekah at the well. It's a story you’ll want to hear!