What did Avraham mean when he told Sarah that her maidservant was in her hands?


Seforno: What he meant was that he had not set her free. 1


See Seforno, Parshas Vayeitzei (Bereishis 30:6).


Why did Sarah torment Hagar (by increasing her workload)? Was it an act of revenge?


Seforno: It was to remind her that she was her slave, and that she should treat her with due respect.


Ramban: She acted incorrectly, and so did Avraham, by allowing it. 1


Riva: She verbally afflicted Sarah. Semag says that the victim of affliction may afflict his oppressor, for the latter is not "Amisecha".


Chidushei Agados of Rav Y.S. Elyashiv: Hagar had stopped acting like a Talmid of Sarah, and considered herself to be a teacher. The affliction was to act like a Talmid, e.g. carry Sarah's clothes to the bathhouse.


This is why Hashem accepted her prayers and gave her a son who would be a 'Pere Adam' and who would torment the children of Avraham in all sorts of ways. Refer to Refer to 6:16:9:1.


רש"י: היתה משעבדת בה בקושי: ממה בא רש"י להוציא?


גור אריה: אין לפרש שייסרה אותה כי לא כתוב 'ותייסר אותה' אלא הייתה משעבדת אותה בקושי.

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