Serach bas Asher (ca. 1540 B.C.E. – “Never”)

February 11, 2014

The Midrash “Derech Eretz Zuta 1” says that Serach, the daughter ofAsher, was one of the nine individuals in Jewish History who never died, but entered alive into “Gan Eden.” One of the reasons she merited eternal life and this great reward is that she was the one who gently revealed to Yaakov Avinu that Yoseph was still alive, in a manner that the shock of the good news did not cause him harm.

The other reason was that in the time of David, Yoav, his general was pursuing a rebel against the king, Sheva ben Bichri. He came to the city where Sheva was, Avel Beit Ma’achah, threatening the city and its entire population with destruction, but according to the “Midrash Bereshit Rabbah” 94:9, Serach, who was as mentioned above still alive at the time, persuaded Yoav to spare the city, and accept only the traitor to be punished, Sheva ben Bichri, himself.

When Moshe came to begin the process of Redemption of the Children of Israel from Egypt, he told them that HaShem had said, “I have surely remembered you.” (Shemot 3:16) The Israelites recognized that coded message and believed in Moshe as the legitimate messenger of HaShem. Who transmitted that code to them?

According to the “Midrash Shemot Rabbah” 5:13, “Yaakov gave the code to Yoseph, and Yoseph to his brothers, and Asher, son of Yaakov, gave the secret to his daughter, Serach, and she was still alive! What did he say to her? ‘Any potential Redeemer who presents the Code, ‘I have surely remembered you,’ is the true Redeemer.’ ”

Thus Serach, she of the sweet and gentle voice, played a critical role in many junctions in connection with the successful going down of her family to Egypt, according to the Plan of HaShem, and in their miraculous Exodus from the “House of Bondage,” and the successful and civilized adaptation to life as an independent nation, under the Rule of HaShem, in the Holy Land.