JewishAmerica.
Featuring:
jewish continuity
jewish heritage
jewish people
jews of america
jewish community
jewish history
jewish culture
judaism kabala
jewish tradition
jewish life
torah parsha
perspectives
jewish links
jewish interest
jewish humor
jews Israel
holocaust

--

Subscribe - FREE!

Feedback

--

JewishAmerica:
Sharing and caring
on the Internet
--

In Recognition Of
Aish Hatorah
- Reconnecting Jews To Their Heritage

[RWB][RWB]
 
--
[JewishAmerica]
Preserving a near-lost legacy and heritage.
Sharing and Caring on behalf of Torah Judaism
--
--
           flowersChayei Sara

More on Chayei Sara / Previous page

The first verse in Parshas Chayei Sarah states that the years (shanim) of Sarah were 127, those were the years of the life of Sarah. Sarah passed away at that age. This verse is a brief but extremely deep statement of the faith that characterized Sarah's life.

The Ksav Sofer brings down a Medrash which says: "Hashem knows the days (yamim) of the whole ones (righteous- whole in faith) and their inheritance shall be forever." What bearing does this have on a verse about Sarah's life and death? In a different place Rashi comments that the word shanim implies good years, as opposed to yamim which implies suffering. Yet we know that Sarah's life was filled with hardship and suffering, questions the Ksav Sofer, how could the Torah use the word shanim in describing Sarah's life? The Ksav Sofer explains that a that a truly righteous person loves his years of hardship and sees them only as good for him. They are Hashem's afflictions of love for him. If he would receive good in the present world, he worries that he may be receiving part of the reward for his mitzvos in this world, and losing from his share in the World To Come. But with a life of suffering the "whole ones" receive their complete reward in Olam Habah. This is the epitome of Sarah's attitude toward her life of suffering; they were shanim, good years to her. And this is what the Medrash comments on Sarah's life: Hashem loves (intimate knowledge, as the Ramban explains) the "bad" years which the righteous suffer while keeping their faith, and their inheritance is forever in the World To Come.

If we recall from the past parshios, Sarah shared almost all the tribulations of her husband Avraham. She left her family and homeland where she was held in extremely high regard to wander in Canaan, suffer from hunger, go down to Egypt where Avraham had her hide in a box (you try that!), get taken captive to the Pharo's palace. Then she had to travel more, was taken again, this time to Avimelech's palace. She suffered from years of being unable to bear children, until she gave her maid as a wife to Avraham and suffered more indignity when the maid bore a child and mocked her. And yet Sarah accepted all her trials willingly with a tremendously positive attitude. She didn't even lose her simcha- joy- when she had to have the maid and her child removed from the house. We can infer this because when Avraham was reluctant to oust Hagar and Yishmael her son, Hashem told him to listen to Sarah whose prophecy was greater than Avraham's. Now we know that Hashem's prophetic spirit does not rest on one who is sad (as we find with Yitzchak who desired good food to make him happy to bless his son, Yaakov who had no prophecy during the years he mourned for Yosef), so if Sarah had prophecy she had to have been a very happy person despite all! (This thought I did not see written anywhere.)

The one trial that Sarah did not share with Avraham was the binding of Yitzchak. Avraham got up early and left to Har Hamoriah with Yitzchak without Sarah's knowledge. The Satan was given permission to reveal to Sarah that her son was being bound for the slaughter. Her soul left her due to the shock of the news, before she heard the last half of the message that Hashem had rescinded the command at the last minute. Rashi tells us this occurrence in his commentary on the second verse, words "to eulogize Sarah and to cry for her". Why, asks Rav Moshe Teitlebaum quoted by the Ksav Sofer, did Rashi not tell us the circumstances of Sarah's death on the words "and Sarah died"? This would be the logical place for such a detail. He answers that in reality why did Avraham have to cry at all over Sarah's passing? She was a great woman, complete in her service of Hashem, greater than Avraham in prophecy, what more did she have to live for that Avraham should bemoan her death? But when Avraham heard that Sarah had died of shock upon hearing of her son's supposed slaughter, he thought that she had failed in her test of faith and that she had died on a lower spiritual level having not withstood her trial. So upon this loss did Avraham cry and grieve and this is where Rashi quotes the story. Ksav Sofer adds that it is clear that Sarah died free of any sin. Her soul left her only because of her supreme happiness at hearing about her son. She was so elevated spiritually that her soul reached Hashem and stayed there.

The Torah wants to prevent us from drawing the wrong conclusion about Sarah, so the first verse repeats "these are the years of the life of Sara". Rashi comments that this repetition is necessary to tell us that all her years were equal in goodness. In other words she passed away as a complete righteous person lacking nothing in her spirituality.

More on Chayei Sara / Previous page

Index Of Articles

[bar]

[Home]


------
In Loving Memory Of Our Father, Mr. Joseph Black (Yosef Ben Zelig) O"H
In Loving Memory Of Our Mother, Mrs. Norma Black (Nechama Bas Tzvi Hirsh) O"H
------

[bar]


Rabbi General's Warning: Unbridled web surfing is not recommended. Navigate the web with caution. Use the Internet in a way so that it enhances quality of life for yourself as a person, as a family member, and as a member in society. The Internet can enhance the mastery of Torah knowledge and it can also interfere. If you are able to study in a Bet Medrash at this time then you should do so right now.

© 1996- by Harlan Black, JewishAmerica. All rights reserved.

[bar]