Psychoanalyzing Our Leaders
Moshe Ben-Chaim

Reader: Im taking another look at Sara laughing whe being told of the birth of Isaac in one year's time. There is a Rashi 17:17. Avraham believed and was happy. Sara didn't believe and made fun. And that's what Hashem "hikpid" (stringent) on Sara and not on Avraham. I'm a little confused. I'd like some clarification about not psychoanalyzing our patriarchs and matriarchs. I originally thought that it's not safe to do that unless one of the commentators do it. That is to say, I can't deduce from the text that a mistake was made. However, I can rely on a (reliable) commentator who points to a mistake. Rashi seems to interpret that Sara was denying. was my mistake in psychoanalyzing her denial? Trying to explain why she denied? Is the most we can say that she was wrong to deny, but we can't understand why she denied? Thanks.
Mesora: A Rabbi once addressed this issue: His point is that we have no grounds to assume that the patriarchs and matriarchs functioned as we do regarding psychology. We have to claim ignorance when understanding the "why's" of their actions, unless as you pointed out, we are taught some reason by Chazal, the Rabbis. But for us to assess their psyche, is an inherently flawed undertaking. It will be based - at best - on our own, greatly inferior understanding of human psychology, coupled with an ignorance of their great perfection.
They were selected by God to act as examples for all mankind. Their level of perfecton is therefore God's choice - an astonishing testimony to their achievements, based on their internal perfections. As their inferiors, not fathoming their motivations and levels of knowledge of God, we cannot attribute our subjective explanations for their motives, which are based on a corrupt philosophy, inherited from those lower than them, and further corrupted by our decayed society.