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Where Are the Women? Notta's Reading Part II
December 20, 2017
Yeah About That:
What About the Women?
I have to admit: Notta’s re-reading of the Bible has me thinking and asking my own questions. Here are a few:
Throughout the Torah, we read the generations of men and their sons. Other than Jacob’s Dinah, these men not have daughters?
And aside from the controversy over Cain’s wife, whom did all these men marry? We have the blessed Imahot Sarah, Rivka, Leah, and Rachel. There’s also Hagar, Bilhah and Zilpah and a few others, but do we know who married and gave sons to Pildash and Bethuel?
If Michal had saved David’s life and given him children, why did she fall into disfavor because she objected to her husband dancing in a public celebration…considering David may well have been naked? And why do we hear nothing more of her?
Did Jael do anything for the Israelite people other than drive a tent spike through the temple of the enemy general Sisra? Did she have a family? Was she thereafter a leader among her people?
What of the prophetess Deborah? Why is her genealogy not listed?
Or do the wives and daughters not really matter?
The “Woman of Valor” in Proverbs 30 is praised for her domestic and civic good works. Yet there have been and continue to be valorous women who have taken up arms, who have become healers and ministers outside their home. We have leaders like Golda Meir and Angela Merkel, to mention only two – are they not also women of valor?
Why, in this age of supposed higher education and open-mindedness, do (old white) men long for a never-was time they believe they remember as better, when they believe they had more power and control over “their” women?
Why are women still seen as less valuable, as property, vessels, anything but human beings who have rights to privacy, safety, and self-determination?
Exactly how do we measure, then repair all the damage from millennia of patriarchal interpretations of religious texts?