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    Why did Sarah die – Chayyei Sarah

    The burial of Sarah, by Gustave Dore

    The story of Sarah’s death immediately follows the story of the Binding of Isaac, suggesting that the two events are connected.

    According to a number of Midrashim, Satan (the embodiment of the devil’s advocate) was enraged to see Abraham and Isaac coming down safely from Mount Moriah, so he decided to make some mischief.

    He went straight to Sarah and said, “Do you know that your husband took your son up the mountain and was about to kill him as a sacrifice to God, and Isaac only survived at the last minute because the angel of the Lord intervened?”

    Sarah got such a shock that she cried out like a shofar and immediately dropped dead.

    But that’s not the end of the midrashic discussion of the incident, because the rabbis believed that the birth of Rivkah, who was to become Isaac’s wife, occurred at the same moment, and when eventually Isaac and Rivkah married it seemed (as Rashi and others tell us) that Sarah’s wonderful qualities had come alive again in her daughter-in-law.

    This echoes the view of the sages, based on passages in Kohelet, that the sun never sets without rising again.

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