Zerah Torah Limmod
Genesis 23.1 - 20
By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk
We offer this discussion in the loving memory of Mr and Mrs Belk and Mrs Martha Reynolds may they rest in peace and may their memory be for good and may they be elevated in the heavens. May those who study with us and give charity in their memory be richly blessed.
We are going to take a few minutes to review 25 Verses of the Torah portion of the Bible to determine who Sarah is.
Abraham said that Sarah was his sister.
The Torah said Sarah was Abraham was his wife.
Genesis 11.31, 32
And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldeans, to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran, and lived there. 32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.
And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go to the land of Canaan; and to the land of Canaan they came.
Genesis 12.11 - 13
אִמְרִי־נָא אֲחֹתִי אָתְּ לְמַעַן יִיטַב־לִי בַעֲבוּרֵךְ וְחָיְתָה נַפְשִׁי בִּגְלָלֵךְ:
And it came to pass, when he came near to enter to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that you are a pretty woman to look upon; Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see you, that they shall say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but you they will keep alive. Say, I beg you, that you are my sister; that it may be well with me for your sake; and my soul shall live because of you.
לָמָה אָמַרְתָּ אֲחֹתִי הִוא וָאֶקַּח אֹתָהּ לִי לְאִשָּׁה וְעַתָּה הִנֵּה אִשְׁתְּךָ קַח וָלֵךְ:
Genesis 12.17 - 20
And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, She is my sister? so I might have taken her for my wife; now therefore behold your wife, take her, and go your way. And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
And Abram went up from Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the Negev.
Now Sarai Abram's wife bore him no children; and she had a maid servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
And God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed; and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָהָם אֶל־שָׂרָה אִשְׁתּוֹ אֲחֹתִי הִוא וַיִּשְׁלַח אֲבִימֶלֶךְ מֶלֶךְ גְּרָר וַיִּקַּח אֶת־שָׂרָה:
Genesis 20.2, 3, 7
And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister; and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, you are but a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a man's wife.... Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for you, and you shall live; and if you restore her not, know you that you shall surely die, you, and all who are yours.
Genesis 20.12- 18
וְגַם־אָמְנָה אֲחֹתִי בַת־אָבִי הִוא אַךְ לֹא בַת־אִמִּי וַתְּהִי־לִי לְאִשָּׁה:
And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said to her, This is your kindness which you shall show to me; at every place where we shall come, say of me, He is my brother. And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and women servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned to him Sarah his wife. And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before you; live where it pleases you. And to Sarah he said, Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold, he is to you a covering of the eyes, to all who are with you, and with all other; thus she was reproved. And Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bore children. For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
וַתָּמָת שָׂרָה בְּקִרְיַת אַרְבַּע הִוא חֶבְרוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַיָּבֹא אַבְרָהָם לִסְפֹּד לְשָׂרָה וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ:
And Sarah was a hundred and twenty seven years old; these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kiriath-Arba; which is Hebron in the land of Canaan; and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
Abraham came to express his deep sorrow for the loss of Sarah. Abraham came to express his deep regret to Sarah. Abraham came to show his extreme grief. Abraham came to communicate his anxiety, his pain and his great sorrow at the loss of Sarah. He grieve! He trembled in distress! He weep! He cried! He moaned / bewailed. The the pain of Sarah's death was so great!
וְאַחֲרֵי־כֵן קָבַר אַבְרָהָם אֶת־שָׂרָה אִשְׁתּוֹ אֶל־מְעָרַת שְׂדֵה הַמַּכְפֵּלָה עַל־פְּנֵי מַמְרֵא הִוא חֶבְרוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן:
Genesis 23.19, 20
And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. And the field, and the cave that is in it, were made over to Abraham for a possession of a burying place by the Hittites.
What do you draw from these Verses? NOT ONE PLACE in the Torah portion of the Bible does Abraham say Sarah is his Wife. Now we are not saying that Abraham did not claim Sarah as his wife. The Torah portion of the Bible does not record Abraham as having said this.
How did Sarah feel about Abraham not identifying her in the Torah as his wife?
There are many things we do not know. However we know that Abraham loved Sarah and that he was deeply moved by her death. We know that he chose to be obedient to God even though it resulted in his wife of more than a hundreds years death.
May our Creator Bless all who mourn in Zion.
May our Creator Bless all who mourn.
Blessings, Love and peace,
Dr. Akiva Gamliel and Rebbetzin Revi Belk