Hagar: A Biblical Heroine
In temple last week, we read the first half of the story of Abraham. In case you have forgotten how the story goes: Abraham’s wife, Sarah, can’t have a baby and so she gives him her handmaiden, Hagar, so that he can have an heir. Sarah gets jealous of Hagar and tells her husband to drive her away from their home. But there is no need to pity Hagar. Yes, Sarah is cruel to her, but she is cruel back and although Abraham does cast her out, this exile is what gives Hagar her freedom. She founds a tribe. God talks to her. And according to Islam she is a heroine and a leader, as she is the mother of Ishmael who is the forefather of Mohammed. To feel sorry for Hagar misses the point. She is a strong, resourceful woman. God has chosen her as one of God’s own. I found a great article on her legacy in Europe. Go here to read more about her freedom, rather than her suffering.