Parashat Chayei Sarah

By Rabbi David Cohen:

I give the price of the field, (take) accept it from me . (23:13)

The Talmud in Kiddushin 2a asks, “From where do we know that ‘money’ is a valid method of kiddushin?” “We derive kichah/kichah misdei Efron.” (Through the use of a gezeirah shavah, one of the thirteen hermeneutic principles for expounding the Torah, through which a similar word or phrase occurs in two otherwise unrelated passages in the Torah, they are linked to one another, and the laws of one passage are applied to the subject of the other.) The word kichah, take, is found regarding betrothal, Ki yikach ish ishah, “When a man shall take a wife” (Devarim 24:1), and concerning Efron’s sale of the Meorat HaMachpelah, Natati kessef ha’sadeh kach mimeni, “I give the price of the field – take (accept) it from me” (Bereishit 23:13). From here, we derive by process of the gezeirah shavah, that a woman is acquired /betrothed by money.

Horav Aryeh Leib Heyman, z”l, asks, why did the Torah specifically choose to establish the source of the acquisition of a wife (through the word kicha), to the sale of Meorat HaMachpelah? Rav Heyman explains that goes to the very core of the marriage: When a man marries, when he acquires a wife, it is not a temporary, time-bound deal which culminates in death. No! Marriage has a connotation which supersedes even death. The bond of marriage commences in this world and carries on to the Olam Haba, the World To Come.