Chayay Sarah: Eulogy Before Tears


Yosef Roth


In this week’s Parsha the second verse says “Sarah died in Kiryas Arbah, which is Hebron, in the land of Canaan. Avraham came to eulogize Sarah and to cry for her”. Usually, a person would cry and then eulogize the person. Why in this case did Avraham eulogize her first, and then cry for her?
The reason the average person cries upon hearing of the death of a loved one is because of their emotional loss. They’re upset that the person who was so close to them is now gone. Avraham, who was beyond the average person, was not only crying for his emotional loss. Avraham recognized that Sarah’s death was a loss to mankind. As such Avraham realized that it was important for all the people to understand just how great an effect Sarah’s death would have on them by explaining to how important she was while alive. The intellectual recognition of Sarah’s loss to mankind was far more significant and painful to Avraham than his own personal loss. He eulogized her first so that he could comprehend and explain intellectually what her loss would mean. It was after this recognition that Avraham began to cry.