A huge thanks to Yael Farkas for the guest shiur that she gave on Shabbas. It was fascinating!
To remind you all of its contents, I have uploaded the source sheet and provided a brief summary of Yael’s discussion points.
The topic of the shiur was ‘Sara Imeinu: A Misunderstood Matriarch, a Model of Feminine Leadership’.
Yael presented a detailed account of HOW Sara Imeinu is presented in the Chumash. The discussion focussed around the various ways in which Sara is perceived as either a leader or a follower. Naturally this provoked some intense discussion in our group.
1. According to the midrash, Eshet Chayil is Avraham’s eulogy to Sarah. We should note that Eshet Chayil appears in the final chapter of Mishlei, King Shlomo’s Book of Proverbs. The poem extols the virtues of the ideal Jewish woman and some interpret it to be Shlomo’s ode to his mother, Batsheva. A magnificent account of Eshet Chayil can be found in Rebbetzin Heller’s book ‘More Precious Than Pearls’.
2. Sara was known for her prophesy and her beauty. What we didn’t discuss on Shabbat was the fact that when we think of Sara we actually think of the line הִנֵּה בָאֹהֶל – she is in the tent. The implication here (according to Rashi) is that she exemplified modesty and despite her beauty, she was known for always behaving appropriately.
3. What we learn from Sara:
– How to develop a solid relationship with your husband.
– To always see the value in all situations. We are told that all of Sara’s years were equally good … even though it might seem as though being tormented by Hagar, not having children, losing her family might lead one to despair, Sara always approached life by appreciating every aspect of Hashem’s presence. We too should try to do the same. From Sara we learn that a ‘good life’ is not a life of comfort, but something far more valuable.
– To nurture a bond with Hashem. It is this that gave Sara the ultimate comfort and guided her through the challenges which she faced.