אמרי-נא אחתי את למען ייטב-לי בעבורך וחיתה נפשי בגללך
Please say that you are my sister, so that it will be good for me for your sake, and my life will be spared because of you
Due to a severe famine in the land of Canaan, Avraham and Sarah journeyed to the land of Egypt. Knowing full well the morality of such a place, Avraham was very concerned. His wife was tremendously beautiful, and if the Egyptians knew they were a married couple, they would have no problem killing Avraham and taking Sarah for themselves. However, if the couple represented themselves as siblings, they would be safe. The Egyptians would assume Avraham, as Sarah’s “brother,” was her protector, and could be persuaded to give her away in marriage.
Continue reading “Lech Lecha 5784”
Late night preparations
ויהיו חיי שרה מאה ועשרים שנה ושבע שנים שני חיי שרה
The life of Sarah was 127 years. [These] were the years of Sarah’s life
ותקם בעוד לילה ותתן טרף לביתה וחוק לנערותיה
She would get up late in the night, and provide nourishment for her household and food for her children
A story is told about the legendary scholar Rabbi Akiva. He was sitting and expounding a lengthy and complex sermon to his myriad of students. He raised his head from his book and noticed that a significant amount of the crowd was dozing off. In an attempt to arouse them from their sleep, he said the following: Why did Queen Esther choose to rule over 127 countries? The reason is because she is a descendant of Sarah, who lived 127 years. That’s all we’re told of the story. What message was Rabbi Akiva trying to convey? More than that, how was a statement like that supposed to wake them from their slumber?
Continue reading “Chayei Sarah 5781”