Princess. Royalty. Beauty.
Close your eyes for a minute and picture those ideas in your mind, then come back to me once you have a clear idea of what they mean.
This week’s Torah portion, Parashas Chayei Sarah, is packed with powerful stories about our forefathers. From the passing of Sarah Imeinu* to the marriage of Yitzchok Avinu and Rivkah Imeinu and ending with the death of Avraham Avinu, there’s some major nation-founding events going on!
Why do we talk so much about these people and their lives? What does it have to do with us, besides, of course, that they’re our great-grandparents?
My brother just pointed out to me a famous saying from Chazal, the Talmudic sages, that says, “When will my actions reach the level of the actions of my forefathers Avraham, Yitzchok, and Yaakov?” Clearly we’re supposed to learn from and try to emulate these people, our great ancestors and their wives, Sarah, Rivkah, Rochel, and Leah.
This week’s parasha is actually named for Sarah Imeinu, hence the name Chayei Sarah – the life of Sarah. What was so special about this woman that she merited having a parasha named for her?
A major part of this week’s parasha is the search for a wife for Yitzchok Avinu by Avraham Avinu’s servant, Eliezer. Upon Eliezer’s return to Avraham Avinu’s home with Rivkah Imeinu, Rivkah Imeinu covered her face with a veil out of modesty upon meeting her husband-to-be, Yitzchok Avinu.
Sarah Imeinu is known as one of the most beautiful women in all of history – on the inside and the outside. Her very name, Sarah, means princess! An equally well-known trait of hers is her high level of modesty.
Go back to that image of the princess in your mind. She might have a crown or she might not. (I think mine still has long flowing golden curls but that may be a personal bias!) Perhaps she’s wearing a ball gown, maybe she’s dressed in a Bais Yaakov girl’s uniform.
Do you think that princess would get along well with Sarah Imeinu and Rivkah Imeinu?
What is the secret to the Jewish princess that our matriarchs knew and lived, that we all want to embody?
Modesty, tzinus, is the prize jewel in the crown of a Jewish princess. A Jewish princess models a way of dress, actions, and speech that brings attention to her inner beauty.
My friend, Esti, got married this week. Everybody knows her for her unlimited acts of kindness, her desire to help everyone, her endless ideas, her drive, her spirit, and much more. I don’t know anybody who knows her that doesn’t like her, whether they’re an adult, a peer, a girl in high school, elementary school, or preschool…
She always has a kind word for everybody. She can bring a smile to your face in a second. You want her to be proud of you. She’s popular and lovable.
Y’know what else she’s known for? Her beautiful voice… And her modesty.
(I’m actually listening to a recording of Esti’s brother singing a song called “Meheira” that he composed in honor of her wedding!)
As I watched Esti pray, laugh, and dance in her gorgeous white dress and sparkling tiara on her wedding night, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful, glowing princess shining through.
Every single one of us, Jewish daughters of the King of all Kings, is a princess. Our royal lineage traces back to Sarah Imeinu and Rivkah Imeinu, the first Jewish princesses.
*Imeinu–our mother; Avinu–our father
How do you use your royalty to light up the world?