The Parsha begins with the death of Sarah and Avraham’s struggle to procure a burial plot for her in
Hebron. He must deal with Efron in order to
secure the purchase. Efron’s name is spelled differently in differet places.
Sometimes it is spelled with a letter vav and sometimes without a vav.
In 23:10 it states that “Efron sat (yoshev) in the midst of the children of Chet.” Here Efron’s name is spelled with a vav; however the word “Yoshev” is spelled without a vav. Rashi picks up on this peculiarity and comments that on that day Efron was appointed a ruler over Chet because of the connection he now had with Avraham. In other words, his “sitting” as a leader was incomplete as it was not in his own merit.
A few pesukim later, 23:16, it says that “Avraham weighed money out to Efron.” Here the name Efron is written missing the vav. Again Rashi comments and says that Efron was lacking in that he talked a lot but did very little. He talked a lot about giving Avraham the burial plot free of charge, yet in the end he exacted an exorbitant price for it.
These two episodes, as explained by Rashi paint an unimpressive picture of who Efron was, and what we need to try and avoid. Efron was a man that took credit when he didn’t deserve it and did not live up to his responsibilities when called upon to do so.
That is the easy way through life: take credit for other people’s work; talk a lot about getting things done but then somehow get out of the work that is entailed. That’s what Efron did- we must learn from his example and do the exact opposite.