Saturday night is the anniversary of the giving of Torah at Mt. Sinai. Strange, isn't it, that on the holy day we celebrate the Giving of the Law, we traditionally study the Book of Ruth, the most transgressive of the Bible, a book that explicitly defies a Divine command.
King David's eldest son Amnon is lovesick for his half-sister Tamar, a virgin princess. Amnon's slimy cousin Yonadav proposes a ruse: Amnon should pretend to be ill, ask King David to send Tamar to make cakes for him in order to help him get well.
The Shunammite (a woman of the town of Shunem) is a wealthy married woman living in the time of the kings of Israel and Judah. She does lovingkindness out of a sense of abundance and majesty: chesed sh'b'malkhut.
The Talmud tells us: "We were redeemed from Egypt because of the righteousness of the women of that generation." In the spirit of Women's History Month, here is my list of 10 of the most important Jewish women who changed history.
In honor of Queen Esther, heroine of Purim -- and of her predecessor, Queen Vashti, who gets a lot less scroll-time in the Purim story but is no less fascinating -- here's a roundup of some especially badass ladies of the Hebrew Bible and Jewish legend.
There is a common (and unfortunate) misconception in the world at large that the Torah is anti-woman. The reality is that a simple examination of the actual text and a little research into some of the major commentaries reveal just the opposite.