Project Genesis

Family and Relationships

Modesty & Sexuality

Do Angels Talk to Women?

Question: My son would like to know why in the Torah Portion of Vayera (Genesis 18) when the guests, who the Commentaries say were really angels, bring news to Sarah that she would have a child, why was the guest facing Abraham and not Sarah? I thought perhaps it was an issue of modesty. Do you know why it was told to Abraham and not to Sarah directly?

Answer: Hello, thanks for the interesting question. It seems to me that the simplest answer is that the guests, were talking to Abraham and not to Sarah. As the verse says, she was in the tent, preparing the food; Abraham was outside with the guests, serving it. I guess you could call that a modesty issue, or just their normal division of labor.

Certainly angels sometimes speak to women as well as men; there are a number of such cases in the Bible, such as Hagar’s experience with the angel (Genesis 16:7-12).

All the Best,
Michoel Reach

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