Parshat Chayei Sarah

Bereishit 23:1
Sarah’s lifetime — the span of Sarah’s life — came to one hundred and twenty-seven years.

THE YEARS OF SARAH’S LIFE: The word years is repeated and without a number to indicate that they were all equally good.

Rabbi Leib, Alter of Ger, Sefer Emet
This is the quality of equanimity, written about in The Duties of the Heart.

Aidan Steinsaltz
Every person’s life consists of two different modes. One mode is characterized by ascents and descents, while the other is characterized by calm and tranquility, without major events or great excitement. … [Chayei Sara] teaches us that is that there are different periods in life.

What kind of life feels attractive to you: excitement or calm? What pulls you to one or another?

Sarah’s life was eventful but nevertheless Sarah remained steadfast in her faith. Not all of the events were equally good, yet Sarah’s responses were “equally good.” Why is this exemplary? How does one develop equanimity?

Rabbi Schneerson, adapted by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
4. The Preservation of Perfection
We will understand all these points if we first consider the following: When a man finds himself in an environment detrimental to his standards, there are three ways in which he can preserve his integrity:
(i) He can strengthen himself inwardly not to be influenced by his surroundings. But this is an incomplete victory, for if he were to relax his self-control he would capitulate, thus implying a lowering of status.
(ii) He can separate himself from those around him. But again his victory is only because he has removed himself from temptation: He has not met it head-on, and is as prone as ever to be lowered.
(iii) Lastly, he can set out to influence his environment and raise it to his own level.5 This is a complete triumph over one’s surroundings—the dangers have not only been avoided, they have been removed entirely.