Who was Sarah? The Torah tells us the following:
And the life of Sarah was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years; [these were] the years of the life of Sarah.
וַיִּהְיוּ֙ חַיֵּ֣י שָׂרָ֔ה מֵאָ֥ה שָׁנָ֛ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְשֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֑ים שְׁנֵ֖י חַיֵּ֥י שָׂרָֽה׃
However, there is no summary of who the first matriarch is. Rashi comes to teach us that the odd phrasing of this verse reveals the specific character traits of Sarah. At 100 years old, she was like a 20-year-old (in terms of her sin count) and so too at 20 for a 7-year-old. At 100, she had the innocence of a 20-year-old, and at 20 the innocence of a 7-year-old. Rashi goes even further than this: all the years of Sarah were equally good. There was not a moment in her life that she faltered – she was constantly “good”.
What does this “good” mean, and how can we emulate it in our daily life?
We see in Tehillim (Psalms) 27:3:
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and be nourished by faith.”
Rashi explains doing good here as the following: “Then you will dwell in the Land for a long time”. By this, Rashi means that doing good means living in Israel for a long period of time.
What does goodness and the land of Israel have to do with one another? One can interpret this in many different ways, but I’m going to focus on just one.
When Sarah moved to the Land of Israel with Abraham, she was fulfilling her spiritual purpose. More specifically, going to the Land that would be promised to the Jewish people in and of itself served to benefit all of Klal Yisrael – the entire Jewish people. When someone helps one person in the Diaspora, they’re helping that one person, but when someone helps someone in Israel, they’re helping the entirety of the Jewish people. We are all connected and affected by the good that happens in the Land, including maintaining a Jewish presence and engaging in Jewish life there. Even looking throughout Jewish history, Jews from all over the world would support poor and pious Jews living in Jerusalem. So when Sarah moved to Israel, she was actively making the decision to not just live for herself, but to start living for the entire Jewish people. Even her name change (from Sarai, my princess, to Sarah,our princess) indicates this.
So how do we be good? To take care of others and be leaders of the Jewish people
– Noa Muscat, Hillel York JLIC Representative on Student Exec who is in her 3rd Year of Concurrent Education