"Hayyei Sarah" #general


Judith Romney Wegner
 

Someone wrote:

Many Jewish names came in pairs. Thus you will find many Rujl-Leye
(my mother and my gggmother) that is actually Rachel and Lea, both
Yakov's wifes and also Sara-Rivka (my mother in law and my ggmother)
that were born during the Haftara of "Sara's life" (end of Tishrei).
Lest the above cause any confusion, I believe the writer intended to refer
not to a haftarah but to the parashah (Torah portion) titled "Hayyei Sarah"
(which begins at Genesis chapter 23).

This portion is the fifth Torah portion in the annual cycle, therefore
occurs 4 weeks after the reading of the first portion, parashat Bereishit,
which is read towards the end of Tishrei, on the first sabbath after Simhat
Torah. There is thus no way that the portion Hayyei Sarah would ever be
read during the month of Tishri. It is read towards the end of the month
of Heshvan -- and it so happens that this year we just read it last Shabbat!

The name of parashat "Hayyei Sarah", in its Yiddishized pronunciation,
sounds a lot like the double-barrelled female name "Hayyah-Sarah" -- and
this is no doubt the reason why this particular name-combination became
quite common.

Judith Romney Wegner
jrw@brown.edu

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