Rabbi Shlomo Riskin draws attention to the order in which Abraham’s reactions are recorded following the death of his wife. ‘Abraham came to eulogise and to weep for her.’ Surely weeping should precede a eulogy, comments Riskin. However he points out that only upon eulogising her did he realise what she had meant to him.
Although he was a universalist, Abraham realised that before the world could be perfected, his own progeny needed to be secure. The perculiar separateness of the Jewish people would involve securing a separate burial plot for his wife, separate from the Hittites. He would also have to see that his son Yitzchak married the right person and that they should live in the right environment, and not in Haran.