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Abraham And Sarah

by Nissan Mindel

Talks and Tales


Library » History » Patriarchs, 12 Tribes | Subscribe | What is RSS?


We have told you many stories about Abraham, but not so many about his wife Sarah. But Sarah was just as great as Abraham. She had all the great qualities that Abraham had. She was wise and kind, and a prophetess. And G-d told Abraham to do as she says. So let us follow Abraham and Sarah, as they leave Ur of the Chaldees, where Abraham had been thrown into the burning furnace by the command of king Nimrod, but had been saved by a wonderful miracle of G-d.

For a time, Abram (as he was still called), hid in the house of Shem, Noah's son, for he did not want to rely on miracles in case Nimrod should decide again to take his life. One day his father Terah came to visit him. Terah was a different man now. He was sorry he had brought so much trouble upon his son Abram, and he also knew that Abram was telling the truth about the One G-d. And so he said to Abram: "My son, let's go away from this country, for you are in danger here. I know that Nimrod has not given up the idea of killing you. I will go with you, too."

The whole family now went away: Terah, Abram and his wife Sarai (later, called Sarah), Terah's grandson Lot and his family, and all their possessions, and the many faithful servants and friends who followed Abram from the moment he came out alive from the burning furnace. They all headed for the land of Canaan. On the way they came to Haran and saw that the land was good and fruitful there. So they decided to stay there.

What Abram did for the men, Sarai did for the women, for she was just as kind and as wise
Abram and Sarai soon became known in Haran as very fine people. They were kind to all, they were very friendly and helpful. Abram always tried to make peace among people, he taught them how to live happily, he told them to get rid of their idols and demons, and trust in the One and Only G-d, the Creator of heaven and earth. And what Abram did for the men, Sarai did for the women, for she was just as kind and as wise. Abram's tent was always full of people, who came to refresh themselves, and to listen to his words of wisdom; and so was Sarai's tent always full of women who came to enjoy her hospitality and listen to her, and learn how to live in happiness and peace with themselves and with each other.

One day G-d told Abram to leave his land, and his father's house, and go to another place, so that other people might also learn all that he and Sarai had to teach about the right way of living. Abram took his wife and his nephew Lot and they went to the land of Canaan. This was the land that G-d promised to give to his children, who would one day become a great nation. Abram wandered about the land, and wherever he came he told the people about the One G-d, and showed by example how to live a good life. He did not stay very long in one place, and moved farther south, until he came to the border of Egypt. He knew that the people of Egypt were wicked, and when they would see Sarai they would want to take her to their king, to Pharaoh. So he made a large box in which Sarai could hide from the Egyptians. When the Egyptian officers saw the large box they were very curious to know what was in it. They said to Abram, "Everybody must pay a tax for anything they bring into this country. If you have barley in that box, you must pay the barley-tax."

Abraham agreed to pay the tax.

"But perhaps you have wheat there?" the officers said. "The tax is more for wheat!"

"I will pay you the tax for wheat," Abram said.

"But maybe it is full of spices? There is a very high tax for spices," the officers continued.


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First Jew, and first of our three Patriarchs. Born into a pagan society in Mesepotamia in 1812 BCE, he discovered monethieism on his own. He was told by G-d to journey to the Land of Canaan where he and his wife Sarah would give birth to the Jewish People.
First Jewess, first of the four Jewish Matriarchs, wife of Abraham--the first Jew. Lived in Mesopotamia, and then Canaan, in the 19th century BCE.
Tenth generation from Adam. Of all humankind, only he and his family survived the Flood which destroyed all civilization in the year 2106 BCE.
The land which G-d promised to give to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Named after the Tribe of Canaanites who dwelt there at the time. Eventually, when the Israelites conquered the land in 1272 BCE, it was renamed the "Land of Israel."
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.