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    The people’s princess – Chayyei Sarah

    Sarah & Abraham, by James Tissot

    Abraham’s wife Sarah is the historical epitome of Jewish womanhood.

    No-one can accuse Judaism of lacking respect for women once we know that Sarah was said to be a woman of beautiful appearance, prophetic vision and ethical character. She had insight into human beings and situations and Abraham knew that following her advice would always be to his benefit (Midrash Sh’mot Rabbah 1:1).

    Her original name was Sarai, “my princess”; then her name was changed to Sarah, “the princess” – i.e. not just great in the family but great in the tribe (Ber. 13a). From being merely the “crown of her husband”, she became the crown of her whole people.

    Her death is recorded in this week’s reading, but greater than her death was her life.

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