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How Do You Wake up Your Students from Sleep?

        

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Rabbi YY Jacobson

How Sarah and Esther Walked the Tightrope of Life - Women's Chayei Sarah Class

Dedicated by Liz and Dr. Michael Muschel, in loving memory of Rebbetzin Sara Muschel, Sorah bas R. Yechiel Mechel, for the yartzeit on 23 Cheshvan

You know the story about Winston Churchill. As Savior of the free world, he felt entitled to grab a nap in the House of Commons. When a fellow Parliament member approached him and said, “Must you fall asleep when I am speaking?” Churchill answered, “No, it is purely voluntary.”

Says the Midrash: Once, as Rabbi Akiva taught a class, he noticed that his students began falling asleep. He wished to awaken them. Rabbi Akiva interrupted his lecture and said: Why did Esther reign over 127 provinces? Because Esther was a descendant of Sarah who lived for 127 years. Let the granddaughter of Sarah, who lived for 127 years, come and reign over 127 countries.

This is a strange story. It evokes many questions. Among them: What is the connection of Sarah’s 127 years to Esther’s queenship over 127 provinces? And why did Rabbi Akiva choose this insight—from all the ideas he could have shared—as the way of waking up his audience?

This women's class was presented on Tuesday Parshas Chayei Sarah, 23 Cheshvan, 5781, November 10, 2020, live from Rabbi Jacobson's home in Monsey, NY

in English
Category
Bereshit-Chayei Sarah
Tags
chayei sarah
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