Torah portion Chayei Sarah – “the life of Sarah” – seems like it will be about Sarah’s life. However, the parsha starts with Sarah’s death. To explain this, the Lubavitcher Rebbe references a line from the Talmud: “Jacob our Patriarch did not die.” But Jacob did die. He was mourned and buried, so what does it mean that he’s still alive? Jacob is still “alive” because he left millions of spiritual descendants. What gives a life meaning is what is left after death, and we all have a responsibility to leave something good of ourselves behind.
Sarah raised her beloved son Isaac to embrace the Divine mission first entrusted to his father Abraham, thus enabling that holy mission to continue. The tremendous amount of good Sarah did for others created a ripple effect of lovingkindness that is still felt today. Sharing her knowledge of the One God with a wide populace and bringing others closer to Him ensured Sarah’s immortality. Her spiritual “tree” continues to bear fruit thousands of years after her passing.
May we all plant seeds to extend our legacy far beyond this mortal coil!
Image: Image: “Sarah and the Angels” by Marc Chagall, 1960