The Troubling Story of Hagar's Oppression | Aleph Beta

Hagar and Egypt

The Troubling Story of Hagar's Oppression

Rabbi David Fohrman

Rabbi David Fohrman

Founder and Lead Scholar

In Parshat Vayera, we read the troubling story of Hagar and her son Ishmael, who are kicked out of the house by Abraham and Sarah and left to survive on their own in the desert. It seems so cruel of Abraham and Sarah! What should we think when we see such disturbing actions? 

There’s something else that’s puzzling here: Hagar’s story sounds eerily familiar. It reminds us of when the Israelites were oppressed in Egypt and then sent away into the desert. Is this a mere coincidence? Or is there more to these parallels? 

In this video and its Epilogue, Rabbi Fohrman suggests that there is a powerful connection between the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar and the story of the Exodus – and that there is a powerful lesson to be learned about how we treat others.


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