Tuesday, November 3, 2009
WHERE IS HER SPIRITUAL PLACE?
Kli Yakar remarks that Avraham was already well aware of Sarah's modesty and did not need the angels to remind him. They actually did not ask for Sarah's physical location; rather their question was directed at her spiritual abode. They wanted to prevent Avraham from thinking it was Sarah's fault that they didn't have children, since the reward for modesty is to bear kings as we learn from Tamar (Megillah 10b). The question “where is Sarah?” thus meant: “At what level are her deeds that she should be worthy of a son?” The answer given is “in the tent.” The level of her modesty makes her worthy of giving birth to holy offspring. The mitzvah of welcoming guests also imparts the merit of bearing children. When we act with love for others by giving to guests, it follows that we are ready to behave lovingly to the guests of our womb. However, what is the connection between modesty and conceiving princely children? Perhaps we can explain thatbeing modest shows that we are ready to diminish our own selfhood in order to make room for someone other than ourselves. Humble parents will understand that their children are not their own possessions but rather images of G-d in their own right. This enables them to conceive extraordinarily high neshamot (souls), worthy of royalty.