The prayer of Sarah (Tob 3:11-3:15)

“At that same time, with hands outstretched toward the window, she prayed and said.

‘Blessed are you,

Merciful God!

Blessed is your name forever!

Let all your works praise you forever!

Now, Lord,

I turn my face to you.

Command that I be released from the earth

And not listen to such reproaches any more.

You know, O Lord,

That I am innocent of any defilement with a man.

I have not disgraced my name

Or the name of my father in the land of my exile.

I am my father’s only child.

He has no other child to be his heir.

He has no close relative or other kindred,

For whom I should keep myself as wife.

Already seven husbands of mine have died.

Why should I live?

But if it is not pleasing to you,

O Lord, to take my life,

Hear me in my disgrace.’”

This is s classical Jewish prayer. The merciful God is asked to intercede in a difficult situation. God is blessed and his name shall last forever. Sarah wants to be released from this earth. She is tired of listening to reproaches. She has not defiled herself. She has not disgraced herself or her father. She is an only child and there will be no heir. There is no kinsman to marry since 7 have died in trying to marry her. Why should she live? She wanted God to take her life because she was in disgrace.

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