THE LIFE OF SARAH: A TRUE AND FAITHFUL MATRIARCH
Sarah, Abraham’s beloved wife, was an example of unshakable faith throughout her life. Despite the fact that she faced numerous challenges and trials, she remained steadfast in her belief that G-d‘s promises would be fulfilled. Sarah’s faith serves as a beacon of light, reminding us to trust in G-d‘s plan, even when our circumstances seem bleak. Let Sarah’s steadfastness inspire us to embrace faith wholeheartedly as we navigate our own struggles.
As a matriarch, Sarah played a crucial role in nurturing and shaping future generations. Her legacy can still be felt today as she continues to inspire countless individuals from different cultures and times. We can learn from Sarah’s dedication to passing on the values of righteousness, faith, and morality to her children and grandchildren. Let’s reflect on our own role as parents, grandparents, or mentors, and strive to leave a lasting impact by nurturing the next generation with love and wisdom.
Sarah’s life embodies the essence of the Seven Noahide Commandments – a steadfast faith in G-d, a compassionate heart for others, and finding strength in the midst of adversity. It serves as a shining example of righteousness and devotion, with teachings that transcend time. As we reflect on the life of this remarkable matriarch, let us strive to incorporate her virtues into our own lives, inspire others through our actions, and become beacons of light in our communities.
24:2 “Put Your Hand Under My Hip”
But wait, this isn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill promise. No, no. Abraham goes a step further by instructing his servant to lay his hand… below his hip. Now Abraham asks his servant to put his hand under his hip while cursing. This gesture symbolizes the dedication and importance of what he swears by.
The object one is holding while swearing such as a scroll of the Torah or prayer belts, is extremely valuable to him. In this case, it refers to circumcision, which is a very precious ritual for Abraham.
24:7 The Eternal, the G-d of Heaven … “
This is where a profound message from G-d comes to the fore. G-d is the Lord of the heavenly and earthly realms. He calls on Abraham not to swear by a G-d on earth, because G-d is the one who chose Abraham and took him on his journey from his home. On earth, there was no one else who recognized the Name of G-d and cried out, and therefore He became the G-d of Heaven.
G-d being the Lord of both the heavenly and earthly realms means that He has complete authority and control over all things, both celestial and earthly. This emphasizes His omnipotence and sovereignty.
The statement further suggests that prior to G-d‘s interaction with Abraham, there was no one on earth who recognized and worshipped G-d. This implies that G-d‘s true nature and authority were not recognized by the people. As a result, when Abraham recognizes and calls out the Name of G-d, he becomes instrumental in acknowledging G-d ‘s divine presence on earth.
This highlights the special relationship between G-d and Abraham, as well as
G-d ‘s role as the ultimate deity, both in heaven and on earth.
24:37 “He came of a cursed family (Canaan)”
Here we see an interesting aspect of the origin and meaning of culture. Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, was a Canaanite, and his daughter was not allowed to marry Isaac. This is explained by the fact that Eliezer comes from a cursed lineage, while Isaac is blessed. According to faith, a cursed person and a blessed one cannot come into contact with each other.
This aspect of culture and its influence on marriage practices can be seen not only in this Torah portion, but in various societies throughout history. People often placed great importance on marrying within their own cultural or ethnic group in order to maintain their sense of identity and belonging. While this may seem restrictive or exclusive from a contemporary perspective, it was a prevailing mindset in many societies at the time.
Understanding the origins and meaning of culture can shed light on how social norms and boundaries are formed and enforced. It also shows how culture shapes various aspects of human life, including marriage practices and the preservation of cultural identity.
24:67 “He brought her to the tent, and she became the equal of Sarah his mother.”
Rivka is taken to the tent and becomes an equal, as is Sarah, her mother. It’s important to understand that she didn’t just enter Sarah’s tent, but rather found herself in an environment where it felt like Sarah was there again. As long as Sarah lived, there was always a light in the tent, from Friday to Friday. There was a blessing with the bread and there was always a protective cloud present. But when Rivka arrived, these signs of blessing returned.
Rivka could feel Sarah’s presence as if she had never been away. It was as if she stepped into a time capsule, where every memory and tradition of Sarah was meticulously preserved. The tent embodied Sarah’s warmth, love, and devotion, creating an ethereal atmosphere that only a mother could provide.
When Rivka stepped inside, the soft glow of the eternal light embraced her, symbolizing Sarah’s abiding spirit. It lit up the space and cast a soft look that engulfed everything in the tent. It was a comforting reminder that even in Sarah’s absence, her light and blessings continued to shine.
The blessing with the bread was a cherished ritual that Sarah had dutifully performed every Friday. As Rivka noted, she couldn’t help but feel the weight of this tradition, which has been passed down from mother to daughter for generations. The smell of freshly baked bread hung in the air, filling the tent with a sense of nourishment and sustenance.
But perhaps the most profound sign of Sarah’s presence was the protective cloud that always enveloped the tent. Like a sheltering embrace, it shielded Rivka from the outside world and created a sacred haven in which she could connect with her ancestor. The cloud was a testament to Sarah’s unwavering love and protection, which extended beyond her earthly existence.
In this environment, Rivka not only felt Sarah’s physical presence, but also felt her love, guidance, and wisdom. It was a mystical union of past and present, where time seemed to stand still. And through these signs of blessing, Rivka knew that Sarah’s legacy would live in her forever and guide her on her own journey of faith and commitment.
25:11 And then G-d blessed Isaac his son, and Isaac dwelt with “the well of the living, which hath beheld me.”
And again, G-d ‘s blessing is on Isaac. He dwells at the well of the Living One, who always sees him. It mentions the Lord of Blessings, who is good in His eyes. Again the Holy One comes, praised be to Him, and blesses Isaac.
So far, because there is so much more! It is wonderful to see how G-d is present in the lives of all of us in the present and the future. Let us be inspired by their faith and devotion to G-d.
As we reflect on the encounter of Isaac and the countless blessings revealed in our own lives, let us be inspired to deepen our commitment to G-d. Each moment is an opportunity to strengthen our faith, seek justice, and live in harmony with Noahide principles.
From Isaac’s unforgettable experience at the Well of the Living to the countless blessings poured out upon us today, we are reminded of G-d ‘s unwavering presence in our lives. Let us carry the torch of faith lit by our ancestors and strive to live in harmony with the Noahide commandments.
Together, we can embrace the blessings and guidance that flow from G-d, ensuring a future of peace, justice, and love for all. May G-d‘s blessings be upon you as we navigate this journey together.
Thank you for reading “The Life of Sarah: A True and Faithful Matriarch”!
Stay blessed! And l’chaim!
Chumash with Rashi comments, Rabbijn Samson Onderwijzer Dutch translation, Noahide Academy of Israel, Master Noahide Theology Torah deepening.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further.