We speak of the Matriarchs – The first matriarch, wife of Abraham, and mother of Isaac, whom she birthed at the age of 90. Sarah, in Rabbinic tradition, is considered holy, beautiful, and hospitable. Many prayers, particularly the Amidah (the central silent prayer), refer to God as Magen Avraham – protector of Abraham. Many Jews now add: pokehd or ezrat Sarah – guardian or helper of Sarah., The second Jewish matriarch, Isaac's wife, and mother to Jacob and Esau. Rebecca is an active parent, talking to God when she is pregnant and learning the fate of her children, then ultimately manipulating Isaac and the children to ensure Jacob's ascendancy. Her Hebrew name is Rivka., The third of the Jewish matriarchs, Lead is the eldest of Lavan's daughters and one of the wives of Jacob. She is the daughter whom Lavan tricks Jacob into marrying instead of his younger daughter Rachel, whom Jacob has requested to marry. Leah is mother to six of the the twelve tribes and to one daughter, Dinah. and Lavan's younger daughter and Jacob's beloved wife second wife (after he is initially tricked into marrying her older sister, Leah). Rachel grieves throughout her life that she is barren while Leah is so fertile. Ultimately, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and dies in childbirth with Benjamin. Rachel is remembered as compassionate (she is said to still weep for her children), and infertile women often invoke Rachel as a kind of intercessor and visit her tomb on the road to Bethlehem., whom we revere for their wisdom and strength, for their faith and resourcefulness, and for their capacity for compassion and love. From them, through the centuries, comes a legacy carefully passed down from generations of women.
From scholars and religious leaders such as Beruriah, the only woman recognized in the The rabbinic compendium of lore and legend composed between 200 and 500 CE. Study of the Talmud is the focus of rabbinic scholarship. The Talmud has two versions, the main Babylonian version (Bavli) and the smaller Jerusalem version (Yerushalmi). It is written in Rabbinic Hebrew and Aramaic. as a scholar in her own right, Hannah is the mother of the prophet Samuel, who, through her prayers, is rewarded a child. She herself is also considered a prophet. Hannah's intense devotional style of prayer becomes the model, in rabbinic Judaism, for prayer in general. Rachel, the best known of the Hassidic women rebbes, and Lily Montague, a founder of the Liberal Jewish Movement in England.
From political activists and defenders of Judaism such as Deborah, the judge, prophet, and warrior, Queen Heroine of the Purim story and Megillat (the scroll of) Esther. She is married to the king by her cousin Mordecai and ultimately saves her people from execution. who bravely stood up for her people: Hannah Sennesh, heroine of World War II; and Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Lit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel..
From women whose compassion reached out to their own families, to the Jewish people, and all those in need, from An important female biblical character with her own book. The Book of Ruth, read on Shavuot, tells the story of Ruth’s devotion to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and their return to Israel. Ruth’s story is often read as the first story of conversion. Ruth is the grandmother of King David. and Naomi, to Rebecca Gratz, American Social welfare activist and founder of the first Jewish Sunday School system in America, to Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah, Hannah Solomon, founder of the National Council of Jewish Women, and Lillian Wald, the “Angel of Henry Street.”
From women gifted in communication and the creative arts, such as Glueckel of Hameln the seventeenth century chronicler of Central European history; the Jew of Eastern European descent. The term also refers to the practices and customs associated with this community, often in contrast to Sephardic (Southern European) traditions. women writers of techines, private prayers focusing on the important religious events in Jewish lives, and from Sarah Schneirer, founder of the Beit Ya’acov movement and pioneer in Jewish education for women; from Sarah Bernhart, Emma Lazarus, and Gertrude Stein, all major influences in the arts of their day.
From these women a legacy has come down to us. May we be worthy keepers and transmitters of that legacy.
If not for the courage of these women, the Jewish people would not have survived.
Baruch Atuh Andonai Eloheinu Melech ha’Olam borei p’ri hagafen
You are Blessed, O God, Spirit of the World, who creates the fruit of the vine.
From the 1994 Columbus Ohio First Women’s Lit. Order. The festive meal conducted on Passover night, in a specific order with specific rituals to symbolize aspects of the Exodus from Egypt. It is conducted following the haggadah, a book for this purpose. The mystics of Sefat also created a seder for Tu B'shvat, the new year of the trees.. Used with permission.