web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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
The United States condemned Iran for honoring Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh but is not so bothered when Abbas honors PA terrorists.
CIA, Mossad Collaborated on Killing Hezbollah No. 2 Leader in Damascus
Latest Judaism Stories
Staum-013015

People often think that all they are missing is “just a little more” and then they can be truly happy.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The Midrash is teaching a fundamental message of what it means to be a religious person.

Rabbi Sacks

Torah opposes slavery; G-d desires the free worship of free human beings, yet slavery’s permitted-?!

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

Approximately 18 years ago, my uncle called me into his office saying he had an urgent matter to discuss. I didn’t know what he had in mind.

“Where is God?” asked the Kotzker Rebbe “God is not everywhere but only where you let Him enter”

An Explosion In The Trench
‘With A Glowing Hot Knife’
(Yevamos 120b)

Her first tactic was tefillah; she immediately began to recite one perek after another of Tehillim.

When a miracle occurs that transcends nature, Hashem has broken the laws of nature to create the miracle.

“How could you have expected my glasses to be there?” argued Mr. Weiss. “You shouldn’t have to pay.”

Rather than submit to this fate and suffer torture and humiliation, Shaul decided to fall on his sword.

How can the Da’as Zekeinim say this was Hashem’s plan to allow them to become the Torah Nation? We know it was actually a punishment.

A strange midrash of fruit trees surrounding the Nation of Israel as they walked to freedom

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

More Articles from Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha-NEW

Once this took place, no Beit Din could annul its practice but for an entirely different reason. A minhag accepted by klal Yisrael becomes an obligation that must be practiced.

Cohen-080814-Sign

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

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.

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: