Monday, November 2, 2015

Living like Sarah

From Reb Noson’s Likutey Halakhos, Hilkhos Tefillin 5:28
Translated by Dovid Sears

“And the life of Sarah was one hundred years, and twenty years, and seven years – [these were] the years of Sarah’s life” (Genesis 23:1). Our sages interpret this to mean that when Sarah was one hundred years old, she was like twenty [regarding innocence of sin]; and when she was twenty years old, she was like seven [regarding beauty] (Bereishis Rabbah 58:1, as cited by Rashi, ad loc.).  

For this is the the gist of attaining wholeness (sheleimus): one should begin to live again in every moment. Even when one reaches old age, it should be in one’s own sight as if he were entirely newborn, as if he had not yet begun to live and to serve G-d. One should always begin anew to live the life of divine service.

This is the paradigm of “when she was one hundred years old, she was like twenty, and when she was twenty years old, she was like seven” [and] “These were the years of Sarah’s life”—they were all equally good. For the older a tzaddik becomes, he still remains like an infant in his own sight, as if he were still a child. In this way, he contantly increases his divine service and merits to attain long life in truth. All of his days and years are years of true life, because he doesn’t lose a single day of his life without increasing in holiness and vitality. This is the meaning of the years of Sarah’s life were equally good, which is the aspect of long life.  

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