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  • Gabriella Kahen

Chayei Sara

Although this parasha is called Chayei Sara, life of Sara, it starts off with Sara’s death. The Torah mentions “The years of Sarah’s life” twice in the same pasuk. Rashi explains that this is to let us know that they were all equal in goodness. The question arises, how could Rashi say this if Sarah lived most of her life being barren and even being held captive by Pharoah?

The Gemara brings an interesting story. There was a man named Nachum, who was sent to deliver to the king of Rome a box full of valuable stones. While sleeping, a thief came to his room, stole the stones, and filled up the box with sand. In the morning, Nachum realized what happened and said “gam zu letova” which means “this is also for good.” He still went to the king’s palace and gave him his gift. The king was furious and wanted to kill all the Jewish people for mocking him. All of a sudden, Eliyahu came and said, “maybe this is the sand that was used by Abraham in his war against the kings, and was turned into ammunition.” The king decided to test this against an enemy during a war, and surprisingly it worked! The king was amazed that thanks to the sand, his army was victorious! He sent Nachum back with the same box, but this time filled with valuable stones and gems.

Rashi’s statement that all the years of Sarah’s life were equal in their goodness, means that even when she had difficult situations in life, she would say “gam zu letova,” this is also for good.

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