Written by d fine
In parshas Vayera we pointed out that the Avos were called Yesharim due to their kind treatment of all people. There is another great example of this trait in our sedra. The psukim clearly illustrate that Avraham treats Efron with the utmost respect; he does not pressurise Efron nor lose his cool with him due to Efron’s incessant changing the price of a burial plot for Sarah Imeinu. But if one looks below the surface, Avraham’s attitude is even more amazing to witness. Not only did Avraham want to bury his wife as soon as possible, he was originally told that he would be given the ma’aras hamachpelah for free. However, Efron soon changed his mind and insisted on selling it to Avraham for a rather steep price. Not only that, but Efron insisted on having Avraham buy the field adjacent to the cave as well, refusing to give Avraham access to the cave without it (see the psukim). Moreover, Efron and Avraham were opposites. Avraham was the ‘say little, do much’ person, whilst Efron was the ‘say a lot, do little’ character - which meant that Avraham was full of humility , whilst Efron was boastful and arrogant. Indeed, whilst Avraham’s name means ‘father (figure) of all nations,’ he humbly called himself ‘dust and ashes.’ In stark contrast, as Rav Moshe Feinstein points out, Efron was really a lowly nobody - his name connotes ‘dust’ - but he made himself out to be an important person.
So despite the fact that Avraham was in a hurry to bury his wife, Efron was cheating him, and Efron’s character and goals were the opposite of that of Avraham, Avraham still behaved in a respectful and kind manner to Efron. Now that’s yashrus!