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Wednesday, Mar-Cheshvan 22, 5783 (Hakhel Year) / November 16, 2022


   This week’s Parsha, Chayei Sarah, begins with the passing of our first matriarch, Sarah.


Abraham wasn’t there when Sarah passed away in Hebron. He was in Be’er Sheva where he went after returning from Mount Moriah, where he intended to bring his son, Yitzchak, as a sacrifice. Upon hearing of his wife’s passing, he went to Hebron to arrange for her burial and in the words of the Parsha, “To eulogise her and weep for her.”  Abraham’s passing, at the age of 175 is also in this Parsha.


Every year, on Shabbat Chayei Sarah, when we read in the Torah about Sarah and Abraham’s passing, thousands of people gather in Hebron. They spend this Shabbat close to Abraham and Sarah’s grave site to pray there and commemorate their holy memories. 


Sarah and Abraham were the first patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people. But unlike the others, they came to the realization and belief in G-d, completely on their own. They were both born into idol-worshipping families and found G-d by themselves later in life.


Abraham and Sarah were the first converts.


Upon G-d’s commandment, Abraham at age 75 and Sarah at age 65, leave their homeland and travel to the land of Canaan. G-d promises to give them that land as an everlasting inheritance.


Sarah’s name was originally Sarai.  At age89 G-d changed her name to Sarah.


The Talmud tells us that Sarah was one of the most beautiful women that ever lived. Sarah was one of seven women prophetesses the Jewish people had.


When Sarah gave birth to Yitzchak at age 90, people didn’t believe it. They said, “She must have adopted this baby.” To prove that she did in fact give birth, G-d made a miracle and she had so much milk that mothers brought their babies to her, and she was able to breast-feed them.


The Midrash says that the famous chapter in Proverbs which begins, “A woman of valour who can find,” was said by King Solomon with reference to Sarah.


Three miracles were always present in Sarah’s tent: 1) A cloud hovered all the time over her tent.

2) There was a special blessing in the bread she baked; 3) The candles she lit before Shabbat would burn all week long until next Shabbat.


Although Sarah experienced many trials and tribulations throughout her life, the Torah tells us that her faith in G-d was so strong that whatever G-d does is for the good, that she considered her 127 years as all good years. May her memory be a blessing to us all.