Shari Carruthers lives in Millbrae, California, and belongs to Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame, CA. She is a member of the WRJ North American Board and an Area Vice President for WRJ Pacific District. She is a past president of her sisterhood, Sholom Women. She has been married to her amazing husband, John, and they have two children, Rachel and Matt.
As I enter the High Holy Days, it is a time each year for self-reflection. What are the good deeds I’ve done this year? Have I been a good person to those around me? What lessons have I learned from my mistakes? Whom have I hurt with my words or actions? Have I kept my personal commitments as a Jew to my friends, family, and community? Have I lived “Jewishly” according to God’s commandments?
This D’var Torah focuses on legacy and inheritance. Women’s roles are in procreation and supporting their husbands and family. We weren’t part of inheritance decision making. Having a male child was essential in passing on the family’s assets consisting of land, animals, and any other valuables to the next generation. G*d appeared to Abraham through three emissaries saying “Rest assured that I will return to you in this time next year, and your wife, Sarah shall have a son.” Sarah and Abraham are old and this feels like a joke at first for Sarah considering her age. At this point, Abraham has a son, Ishmael, by the slave girl, Hagar. From this reading, it’s important to G*d for Abraham’s descendants to be by Sarah as well. It’s not until later in the Torah that daughters are even considered to receive an inheritance from their fathers.