The Secret to Fertility

Tzvi Ilan ben Gita update: Ilan is making great progress. His walking and talking are consistently improving and he has started joking around and displaying a great sense of humor.

Genesis Kli Yakar: Vayera

The Secret to Fertility

‘I will certainly return unto thee when the season cometh round; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.’Genesis 18:10

Abraham and Sarah are the classic biblical poster children of an infertile couple. After years of trying, after tearful prayers, after attempting every conceivable and even some unusual strategies, they frankly give up. When they reach advanced ages, it is naturally impossible for Sarah to conceive and unlikely for Abraham.

There are various rabbinic explanations given as to why they were tested in this fashion and why it took so long. The Kli Yakar (Genesis 18:6) explains why they did merit to finally having a child.

He compares the case to another hauntingly parallel story in the Bible.  The prophet Elisha is given extravagant (for those days) hospitality by an older woman of Shunam who recognizes Elisha as a man of God (see II Kings 4:8-17 for story). Though past child-bearing age, she is blessed with a son, in almost the same language and words as the prophetic announcement of Sarah’s birth to Isaac:

‘At this season, when the time cometh round, thou shall embrace a son.’ II Kings 4:16

The Kli Yakar explains that the reason for their blessing and miraculous births were simply because of their great hospitality.

A home is just a house if no one else is in it. The Kli Yakar implies that we first need to bring others into our home in order that God bring a new one of us into it as well.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the Puah Institute which helps so many families who are desperate to start their own.

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