Gen. 23 – Sarah’s Mission


Dear family and friends, Genesis Chapter 23.2 speaks of Abraham coming to mourn the death of Sarah, his beloved wife, and to weep for her. However, the concluding Words of Genesis 23.1 are חַיֵּי שָׂרָה Chah-Yah – Saw-Raw meaning ‘The Life of Sarah.’ 


The mourning is for us who feel the loss. Can we identify with Abraham’s loss? Sarah and Abraham are soulmates. Abraham knew Sarah all 127 years from birth to death. Sarah was righteous. Sarah was a Prophetess. Our Sages teach that Sarah’s level of prophecy was greater than that of Avraham. Rabbi Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, The Sapirstein Edition Rashi Bereisheit / Genesis {Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. First Edition 10th impression 2007}, p 222. 


Sarah was a loving, kind, good, wholesome wife. Maharal comments that a wife has two missions in life. The three names Iscah, Sarai, Sarah, note this, Genesis 10.27 – 28. The first name is hers from birth, the second name comes with marriage when, if she marries a righteous person, she elevates to a higher mission. ‘Sarah’s two names indicate her two missions; one mission is in connection with her father, and the other mission is in connection with her husband. ‘Iscah’ is the name indicating personal greatness. It was Sarah’s for her own mission, and it is the one used in telling of her birth in Haran. ‘Sarah’ indicated that she joined Abraham in leading the world to its ultimate goal. Sarah was the name associated with the Abrahamitic mission, and it is used from the time of her marriage.’ 


Sarah was also known as Iscah and Sarai, Genesis 10.27 – 28.

Iscah was Sarah. She was so-called. – סָכָה Saw Chawh meaning, to look, to see, to observe, to prognoses, to prognosticate.] because she could ‘see; the future by holy inspirations… Rabbi Avrohom Davis / Rabbi Avrohom Kleinkaufman, The Metsudah Chumash / Rashi (Hoboken, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, Inc. 1993) p113.


The Shekinah, in the form of a cloud, shaded the entrance to Sarah’s tent. As long as Sarah lived, the doors to her tent were wide open. There was a blessing on Sarah’s Challah, and the Sabbath lamp burned continually from the evening of the Sabbath until the evening of the following Sabbath. When Sarah died, each of these manifestations ceased, but when Rebekah came, they returned. Bereisheit Rabba 60.16


Now, we see the vast hole Sarah left in Abraham’s life. Nothing would be the same. Abraham began fading into the background. Isaac started to take charge. In part, we can identify why Abraham was so devastated. Sarah was such an influential part of Abraham’s life. 


There are three points we should keep in mind. 

First, Sarah fulfilled her mission.

Second, Sarah was the ultimate helpmate.

Third, Sarah’s life taught us how to be a God-fearing Wife and a God-fearing husband.


Remember that on The Second Day of Creating The Lord God wrote everyone’s name in Sefer Chaim, The Book of life. When we speak of the life of Sarah, we began with The Second Day of Creating when her soul received identity. The same is true for Abraham and each individual born into our world. Each person has been granted eternal life by The Lord God on The Second Day of creating.


Isaiah reminds us of our ultimate journey. ‘The Redeemed of The Lord shall repent, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35.10


The Lord God has Declared, ‘Even them will I bring to My Holy Mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples, Isaiah 56.7.


The Lord does the gathering. The Lord God will bring ‘All Peoples’. No race, no gender, no nation, no people will be excluded!! ‘Even them will I bring!’ If you are so to speak lost, The Lord God will find you. If hope seems lost, He will provide hope. 


May each of us enjoy good health, happiness, healing, restoration, and Blessing, as we learn that we already have Eternal Life. May we be confident and trust in The Lord and The Holy Scriptures. And may we work with our mates Doing the mission God has appointed for us. 


Good Sabbath!


 Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk



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