The taste of Shabbat – Hayei Sarah 5778

Rav Mordechai Elon

וַיָּקָם אַבְרָהָם מֵעַל פְּנֵי מֵתוֹ וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי חֵת לֵאמֹר
גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב אָנֹכִי עִמָּכֶם תְּנוּ לִי אֲחֻזַּת קֶבֶר עִמָּכֶם וְאֶקְבְּרָה מֵתִי מִלְּפָנָי

And Abraham arose from before his dead, and he spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, "I am a stranger and an inhabitant with you. Give me burial property with you, so that I may bury my dead from before me."

Rashi stresses the ambiguousness of the term "stranger and inhabitant", a stranger is a temporary guest, and an inhabitant belongs. Rashi explains

אם תרצו הריני גר ואם לאו אהיה תושב ואטלנה מן הדין שא"ל הקב"ה לזרעך אתן את הארץ הזאת

If you are willing [to sell me burial property], I am a stranger, but if not, I will be as an inhabitant and will take it legally, for the Holy One, blessed be He, said to me, To your seed I will give this land

Still, there is a problem with Rashi: If the land is Abraham's by law, he should take it, but the land was promised to "his seed", not to him, and only in the future will it become ours, so it isn’t his yet to take.

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