Life Is What You Make of It
“The life of Sarah was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years, the years of the life of Sarah.”
Sarah’s life was far from uneventful: she was born and raised in one part of the world, but moved a number of times, spending the last half of her life in the Land of Israel. She struggled to have a child for most of her life, and was also abducted twice by powerful kings who desired to marry her against her will.
Yet when the verse says “The life of Sarah was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years, the years of the life of Sarah” Rashi explains that the phrase “the years of the life of Sarah,” summarises all 127 years of Sarah’s life, saying, “They all were equally good.” Considering everything that Sarah endured, how can Rashi suggest that all 127 years of her life were equally good?
The answer lies in the Torah’s unusual phrasing. Usually, when stating how long a person lived, the Torah says, “All the days of so-and-so were…,” or “These are the days of the years of so-and-so’s life.” Here, however the Torah refers to the number of Sarah’s years as “the life of Sarah,” not “the years of Sarah.”
The Torah’s wording indicates that this verse is not only telling us how many years Sarah lived, but also that all 127 years were “Sarah’s life,” i.e., perfectly and equally filled with the meaning and purpose by which she defined her life.
To Sarah, living meant being in a vibrant relationship with G-d, first and foremost through the mitzvahs entrusted to the Jewish woman. As our Sages tell us, a cloud (representing the shechinah – Divine Presence) hovered constantly over Sarah’s tent because she carefully maintained the purity of her married life; the dough she prepared was particularly blessed in the merit of her separation of challah; and the Shabbos candles that she lit burned miraculously throughout the following week.
The physical and emotional distresses that Sarah experienced certainly pained her, but the pursuits by which she defined her life were never diminished or changed. Thus, the “life of Sarah” – her spiritual passions and endeavours – were perfect and good throughout all her 127 years.
-An excerpt from a talk by the Rebbe (Likkutei Sichos, vol. 35, pp. 92-93)
To read more about this week’s parsha click here
Until the lockdown eases the following are the only services the Chabad House is holding this week:
Hebrew School – Mid week Hebrew reading Zoom sessions, each Alef Champ level has a specific slot.
Bar / Bat Mitzvah lessons – Tutoring for bar/bat mitzvah is continuing either outdoors or via Zoom.
Wednesday 7:00 PM Rosh Chodesh Society – a monthly class for women: RSVP for the Zoom link
Friday 3:00-5:00 PM Contactless pickup for your Shabbos essentials – freshly baked challahs, Shabbos candles, kosher wine and grape juice. Reservation only, call or text to arrange a pickup.
Shabbat Times for This Week
Candle Lighting 7:33 PM
Shabbat Ends 8:33 PM
Mazel Tovs & Yartzeits
We wish Sivan Doukhan a happy birthday!
We wish Lisa Brokensha a happy birthday!
Wishing you a Good Shabbos, and we hope to see you again soon!
Rabbi Mendel & Esther Hecht