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Rivka’s Tent

When Yitzchak receives Rivka, he famously brings her to his mother’s tent. But where did that tent come from? After all, we know that Avraham and Yitzchak went their separate ways after the Akeidah – Yitzchak went to Lahairoi, in the Negev, and Avraham, after burying Sarah in Hevron, went back to Be’er Sheva. Indeed, Yitzchak lived separately from his father for the rest of Avraham’s life – Yitzchak was not even there when Sarah was buried at the cave of Machpelah!

So how did it come to be that Yitzchak, and not Avraham, had Sarah’s tent?

Rashi tells us that Yitzchak left the Akeidah, and went to find Hagar (Keturah), to reunite her with Avraham.

Some things are universal: what is the first thing a new wife does with the old wife’s things? Out they go! Hagar, who was not a huge fan of Sarah in life, surely had no interest in keeping Sarah’s tent around after she had died. Yitzchak “inherited” the tent of his mother, and set it up to be near his own, away from Avraham and Hagar’s new family.

Footnote: We already know that Rivka was born when Sarah died, and from the above we know that unless Avraham disposed of Sarah’s tent before he needed to, Hagar was already established as Avraham’s new wife when Yitzchak married. We can infer from this that Avraham reunited with Hagar within three years of Sarah’s passing.

Comments are welcome!