With a name like "The Life of Sarah," this week's Torah portion sounds like a promising biography.

Too bad she dies in the second verse.

One of the fundamentals of our faith is that the Jewish way of life is everlasting. This is why the doing of good deeds is compared to planting a seed.

When a seed is planted, it disintegrates in the ground, losing its puny identity to the nourishing soil and creative potential of mother earth. A seedling sprouts, which will one day grow into a tall tree. In time, the tree will bear fruit, and seeds, which themselves might become an orchard, and ultimately, a vast forest.

Likewise, a good deed takes root and sprouts in a nourishing eternity of good deeds and Jewish values. These deeds and values give life to ourselves and our offspring, that we too might one day grow into tall fruitful trees; that our fruits might one day become orchards.

That's why the Torah is called the "Tree of Life."

This was the life of Sarah, and this, for more than three thousand years, has been the life of the Jew.

Sarah devoted her life to her only son, Isaac. She nourished him by teaching him good deeds and moral values. She raised him to be a giant fruit-bearing tree, that he should nourish the next generation.

In this week' Parshah we read that when Isaac married Rebecca and brought her home, "behold, it was Sarah, his mother."

Oedipus, schmoedipus! What it means is that Isaac and Rebecca started a home founded on the everlasting spiritual values of Sarah, his mother. It was a home of light, love and generosity, a place where all who entered felt better about life.

Our sages say that Sarah's tent was the seed that one day grew to be Jerusalem's Holy Temple.

Our homes today are the orchard that sprouted from those fruits.