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Mother Sarah

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JewishTreats.org

Sarah was 90 years old when her son Isaac was born. He was the answer to all her prayers, for she now knew for certain that the great work that she and Abraham had been doing would be carried on in future generations.

As Isaac grew, both Sarah and Abraham watched the child carefully, knowing that he was the next spiritual link of the Jewish people. As she watched the Isaac play with Ishmael, his half-brother, Sarah was concerned that Ishmael was a negative influence on Isaac and would lead him down a path of violence and immorality. She went to Abraham and insisted that Hagar and Ishmael leave. But Abraham hesitated about sending his son away. God, however, told Abraham not to be concerned, for He would make the boy (Ishmael) into a nation (indeed, he is the progenitor of the many Arab nations), and that “everything Sarah tells [him], he should heed her words” (Genesis 21:12). From this our Sages understand that Sarah was, in fact, a greater prophet than Abraham.

After she secured Isaac’s future, little more is written about Sarah’s life. When her only child was 37 years old, Sarah died (at age 127). Abraham immediately went to Hebron, where he knew there was the cave in which Adam and Eve were buried. Despite the goodwill of the local people who were willing to give Abraham burial rights in the cave, Abraham insisted that he purchase the cave and own the burial site in perpetuity. He therefore successfully negotiated the sale of the site, Ma’arat HaMachpela (the Tomb of the Patriarchs), for 400 silver shekel, and buried Sarah there.

Copyright © 2010 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

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