web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Sarah’s Laughter


Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha

Question: Why did Sarah – one of our four righteous matriarchs – laugh when she heard the angel prophesy that she would give birth to a son? How could she have doubted God?

Answer: The pasuk says, “And he said, ‘I will certainly return to thee at this time of the year, and behold, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent-door, v’hu acharav” (Bereishit 18:10). The standard translation of “v’hu acharav” is “and the tent was behind him.” Targum Yonatan, however, contends that “v’hu acharav” means that Yishmael was standing behind Sarah listening to what the angels were telling Avraham.

Based upon this, Rav Yehuda Leib Sorotzkin (Magid Yosef, Chayyei Sarah) suggested the following: Sarah never doubted the prophesy (or the ability of Hashem). Her concern was its impact on Yishmael. Sarah knew that Yishmael was wild, and she feared that he would hate her new child since it would mean he was no longer Avraham’s sole heir. She feared that he even may attempt to harm her and forcibly cause her to miscarry.

Therefore, she sought to present the allusion that she herself did not believe in the validity of the prophesy. Her laughter was a means of manifesting to Yishmael that there was no reason to assume that the prophesy would come to pass. It was a matter to scoff at and belittle. This approach, she assumed, would eliminate any serious action by Yishmael either against her or the new child.

If this was her thinking, why did Hashem rebuke her? Wasn’t her intention proper?

The answer is that her intention was proper, but since Hashem was promising her a child, she should have believed and had faith that He would also protect both her and the child.

 

Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of seven books on Jewish law. His latest, “Shabbat The Right Way: Resolving Halachic Dilemmas,” is available at Judaica stores and at Amazon.com.

About the Author: Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of eight sefarim on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer the Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and select Judaica stores.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Sarah’s Laughter”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Border Police keep an eye out for Palestinian Authority terrorists.
IDF on Manhunt for Arab Terrorists Trying to Gun Down Jewish Drivers
Latest Judaism Stories
Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

The Jew, from the perspective of the name Yaakov, is dependent on the non-Jewish world. This can be seen today in the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States

Lessons-Emunah-logo

Yet, ultimately, looking back, these “setbacks” turned out to be really for the patient’s best – for the good.

Business-Halacha-logo

In the afternoon, he reached into his pocket to check for the money, but it was empty. “The $50 bill must have fallen out,” Alex exclaimed. “It’s got to be in one of the rooms I was just at.”

Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Rashi in Shabbos 9b writes that the reason why the tefillah of Ma’ariv is a reshus is because it was instituted corresponding to the burning of the eimurim from the korbanos – which was performed at night.

It almost sounds as if Hashem is saying, “I have to keep Yaakov from getting too comfortable; otherwise he will forget Me. I can’t promise him sustenance because then he won’t need Me. He won’t write. He won’t call. He won’t love Me anymore.”

The Decree Of 1587
“Two Kabs Of Dinars Were Given…To King Yanai”
(Yevamos 61a)

Simply too many cases of prayers being answered to deny it makes a difference to our fate. It does.

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

Jacob cries, overcome by the knowledge that his great love for Rachel will end in unbearable pain.

There’s a perfect mirror between Jacob running away from Esav to when he reunites with his brother.

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

More Articles from Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
Cohen-080814-Sign

Is God apologizing for taking away my Father? Is God telling me that He is sorry?

Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha-NEW

Question: At Birkat Kohanim, who says the phrase, “Am k’doshecha ka’amur”?

Question: How can one determine whether someone is a true disciple of a rav, Rebbe, or rosh yeshiva?

Question: Does halacha agree with the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade permitting women to have abortions?

Question: When someone puts on a talit to lead services, should he recite a berachah?

Question: A number of synagogues feature bar mitzvah celebrations for elderly Jews. Is this proper?

Hashem understood their complaint and therefore selected the ritual mitzvah of sukkah to test them.

Question: Why is Shavuot celebrated as a two-day Yom Tov?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/sarah%e2%80%99s-laughter/2011/12/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: