“In Parshat Vayera, Avraham and Sarah are old and past when they think they will be able to have children. Suddenly, as Avraham is sitting at the opening of his tent, he looks up and sees three men appear. He rushes to make sure they feel welcomed and well cared for. We then find out that these men are angels sent from God. One of them tells Avraham that next year they will return and Sarah will have a son. Sarah hears this news and laughs to herself because she thinks that she is too old to hope for that to happen. In fact, the parsha explains three moments when Sarah laughs around the topic of having her son. She even names her son “Yitzhak” which comes from the word tz-h-k (צ-ח-ק), meaning ‘laughter.’
Just as Avraham began this parsha with his eyes downward – needing to look upwards and outwards to be able to spread goodness to others and see the guests he wanted to welcome – Sarah too goes through a similar journey. At first she begins with an inner doubting laughter, but later spreads the laughter outwards, sharing it with others joyfully.”
Click here to download and print this week’s Parsha Experience on Parshat Vayera – Feeling our Laughter, an exciting new series from The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators.
Contributions from Pardes faculty, staff and alumni including: Aviva Lauer Golbert, Rachel Friedrichs, Reuven Margrett and more.