JULIAN OF NORWICH, HER SHOWING OF LOVE AND ITS CONTEXTS ©1997-2017 JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY  || JULIAN OF NORWICH  || SHOWING OF LOVE || HER TEXTS || HER SELF || ABOUT HER TEXTS || BEFORE JULIAN || HER CONTEMPORARIES || AFTER JULIAN || JULIAN IN OUR TIME ||  ST BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN  ||  BIBLE AND WOMEN || EQUALLY IN GOD'S IMAGE  || MIRROR OF SAINTS || BENEDICTINISM || THE CLOISTER || ITS SCRIPTORIUM  || AMHERST MANUSCRIPT || PRAYER || CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY || BIBLE AND WOMEN PORTAL


MIRIAM AND AARON


WOMEN AND THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES




Dedicated to Professor Nachama Leibowitz




Professor Nechama Leibowitz, of Blessed Memory

Nechama (as she identified herself on the telephone, and as she was known to all her students and well-wishers) enriched the Torah world and its students in many realms:

A. She restored the glory of studying the written Torah, and of Bible study in general, following the Peshat, the literal meaning of the text, in according with the medieval commentators and the midrashim, both the halachic and the aggadic. She channeled her energies primarily into her great undertaking:the commentary of Rashi on the Torah.

B. She expanded the commentary library of the student by revealing many commentaries which were not known to the learner, and acquainted him with the supercommentaries, which imparted an additional, more profound, dimension to Torah study.

C. She introduced didactic methods for the teaching of the Torah that also influenced religious studies as a whole. the goal of these methods was to turn the pupil into a learner, employing the question, the difference, the shared and the disparate, synthesis, structure, form and content, precise definitions, and error as a basis for further effort.

D. She emphasized the meanings relevant to the contemporary learner: by citing modern commentaries, by her extraordinary sensitivity for the learner's problem, the ability to determine the message contained in the sources, and her sharp and clear formulation of these messages in a language and style that speak to every learner.

E. She caused everyone to fall in love with Torah study: young and old, layman and scholar, teacher and pupil, in Israel and in the Diaspora.

F. Following in her path, the regular study of parshat ha-shavua, the weekly Torah portion, was begun in Israel and the Diaspora. Every Shabbat, classes on parshat ha-shavua are held, using Nechama's "gilyonot" (sheets) and her collections of studies. The study of parshat ha-shavua has become an institution throughout the Jewish world.

G. She made an inestimable contribution by training generations of teachers, for all levels of study, in Israel and the Diaspora. These teachers transmit her insights and her method of study to their pupils, and to their pupils' pupils.

H. The Torah that she taught in such a glowing, open manner to every student, to whomever addressed questions to her, day or night, from throughout the world, the light within her, the Torah she taught, and her countenance - that are the reason why the Torah shall be taught by countless numbers of individuals, through love of the Torah.

Nechama's name shall be inscribed for all eternity among the greatest disseminators of Torah throughout the generations.


All religions gravitate towards exclusive power and forget their birth in inclusive tolerance. We need to return to their births to find our presence.

Deuteronomy 31.9-13 describes Moses writing down the law, the Torah, and giving it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the elders of Israel. Moses commanded them that:

Every seventh year, in the scheduled year of remission, during the festival of booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people - men, women, and children, as well as the aliens residing in your towns - so that they may hear and learn to fear the Lod your God and to observe diligently all the words of this law, and so that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live.

Moses then finishes writing the law, having it be placed in the Ark of the Covenant, and next summons all the people and sings to them his song - which Portia will echo in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.

May my teaching drop like the rain,
my speech condense like the dew
like gentle rain on grass,
like showers on new growth.

Centuries pass. The Torah becomes forgotten. Until 621 B.C.E., when King Josiah asjs the high priest Hilkiah to account for all the money received in the Temple so that it may be used for repairing the same. During this search the book, the Torah, is rediscovered in the Temple. It is brought to the king and read to him. In consternation, the King asks how he can find what God wills they should do, not having observed the Torah for generations. The priests and the scribes go and ask the Prophetess Huldah, the wife of the keeper of the wardrobe who lives in the Second Quarter of Jerusalem. She replies that God has told her that he will bring disaster for their non-observance of the Torah.

Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant. (2 Kings 22-23, 2 Chronicles 34.14-35.19).

Only King David and the Prophetess Huldah are buried within the city of Jerusalem, Huldah having a gate named after her. Rabbinical literature explains that she is related to Jeremiah, both descended from Rahab, wife of Joshua.

Next, in 458 B.C.E., Ezra returns from the Babylonian exile with "book of the law of Moses" which he studied with great care. We are told that he prayed and confessed, weeping before the Temple, a great assembly of people, 'of men, women, and children', who also wept bitterly (Ezra 7.6-10.14). In Nehemiah it is further told, in replication of Huldah's advice to Josiah, and God's advice to Moses, that all the people gathered to hear the Torah, the Law (Nehemiah 8-10).

When the seventh month came - the people of Israel being settled in their towns - all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand, and the ears of all the people were attentive to the books of the law. The scribe Ezra stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the purpose . . . . And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered 'Amen, Amen', lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. . . . the Levites helped the people to understand the law, while the people remained in their places. So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, 'This day is holy to the Lord your God, do not mourn or weep'. For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, 'Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

The reading continues for seven days. All participate, 'their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who have undersanding' (10.28).                    

Thus the Bible itself includes us all as hearers of the word of God and doers of it. This story of Huldah will be recalled by the Franciscans of their Blessed Angela of Foligno, and by Bishop Hermit Alfonso Jaéz, and Cardinal Adam Easton, O.S.B. in presenting the case of Birgitta of Sweden for canonization. Adam Easton, from Norwich, considered Julian in the same light.

*
Now that we know that the Bible is decidedly also for women, to study and to interpret, let us next find the women within it.

Abigail, David's wife, 1 Samuel 25
Asenath, Joseph's Egyptian wife, Genesis 41.45, 50. 46.20
Asherah/Assherim, Exodus 34.13, Deuteronomy 7.5, 12.3, 16.21; Judges 3.7, 6.25-26, 28, 30; 1 Kings 14.15, 23, 15.13, 16.33, 18.19; 2 Kings 13.6, 17.10, 18.4, 21.3, 7, 23.4, 6-7, 14-15; 2 Chronicles 14.3, 15.16, 17.6, 19.3, 24.18, 31.1, 33.3, 19, 34.3-4, 7; Isaiah 17.8, 27.9; Jeremiah 17.2; Miah 5.14
Astarte, Judges 2.13, 10.6; 1 Samuel 7.3-4, 12.10; 1 Kings 11.5, 33; 2 Kings 23.13
Bathsheba, David's wife, 1 Samuel 11-12
Bilhah, Rachel's maid, Genesis 29.29, 46.25
Daughters of Jerusalem, Song of Solomon 1.5-6, 3.5, 10-11. 5.8-9, 16, 8.4
Daughters of Sion, Isaiah 3.16-26, 32.9-11; Baruch 4.10, 14, 16
Daughters who Prophesy, Ezekiel 13.17-23, Joel 2.28
Deborah, Judges 4-5
Delilah, Judges 16
Dinah, Genesis 30.21, 46.15.
Elisheba, Exodus 6.23
Esther/Hadassah, Book of Esther
Eve, Gensis 2-3, 4,1-2
God as Femine, Exodus 19.4, 34.6; Numbers 11.22; Deuteronomuy 32.11, 18-19; Nehemiah 9.20-21; Job 38.8, 29; Hosea 11.3-4, 8-9; Isaiah 27.11, 42.14, 43.1, 45.10-11, 46,3-4, 49.15, 66.7-9, 12-13
Gomer, Hosea 1-3
Hagar, Genesis 16.9-21, 25.12-16
Hamutal, Jeremiah's daughter, Josiah's wife, 2 Kings 23.31, Jeremirah 13.18, Ezekiel 19
Hannah, 1 Samuel 1.1-2.21
Hephzibah, 2 Kings 21.1, 62.4
Huldah, 2 Kings 22.14; 2 Chronicles 34.11-28
Jael, Judges 4.17-22, 24-27
Jemimah, Job's daughter, Job 42.14
Jephthah's Daughter, Judges 11.34-40
Jerushah, Zadok's daughter, King Uzziah's wife, 2 Kings 15.33; 2 Cronicles 27.1
Jezebel, 1 kings 16.31, 18, 19; 2 Kings 9
Jochebed, Moses' mother, Exodus 2.3-9; Numbers 26.59
Judith, Judith 8.1-16.25
Keren-happuch, Job's daughter, Job 42.14
Keziah, Job's daughter,
Job 42.14
Leah, Genesis 29.16-34.1, 35.23, 26, 46.5, 14, 18, 49.31; Ruth 4.11
Lilith, Isaiah 34.14
Lo-ruhamah, Hosea's daughter, Hosea 1.6, 8, 2.1, 23
Michal, David's wife, 1 Samuel 14.48, 18.20, 19.11-17. 25.44; 2 Samuel 3.13-16, 6.16, 20-23. 21.8-9; 1 Chronicles 15.29
Miriam, Exodus 15, Numbers 12, 20, 26; Deuteronomu 24.9; 1 Chronicles 6.3; Micah 6.4
Mother of Seven Sons, 2 Maccabees 7.1-42, 4 Maccabees 1.8-20, 8.3-4, 20, 10.2, 12.6-7, 13.19, 14.31-18.24
Naaman's Wife and Servant, 2 Kings 5.2-4
Naomi/Mara, Ruth 1.20
Orpah, Ruth 1.4, 14
Pharoah's Daughter, Exodus 2.5-10// 1 Kings 3.1, 7.8, 24, 11.1; 2 Chronicles 8.11
Puah, midwife, Exodus 1.15-21
Queen of Babylon, Daniel 5.10-12
Queen of Heaven, Jeremiah 7.18, 44.15-19, 25
Queen of Sheba, I Kings 10.1-13; 2 Chronicles 9.1-12
Rachel, Genesis 29-31, 33, 35.16-21, 24-25, 46.19, 22, 25, 48.7; Ruth 4.11, 1 Samuel 10.2, Jeremiah 31.11-22
Rahab, Joshua 2, 6.16-25
Rebecca, Genesis 24-27, 28.5, 29.12, 49.31
Ruth, Ruth
Sarah, Genesis 11.29-31.1, 16.1-18.15, 20.2-21.12, 23.1-2, 19, 24.36, 25.10, 12, 49.31; Isaiah 51.2
Shiphrah, midwife, Exodus 1.15
Shunammite, 2 Kings 4.8-37, 8.1-6
Susanna, Susanna 1-3. 7-8. 10-12. 15-24, 26-46, 48-49, 54. 57-58, 63
Tamar, Genesis 38; Ruth 4.12; 1 Chronicles 2.4//2 Samuel 13; 1 Chronicles 3.9// 2 Samuel 14.27
Vashti, Esther
Wisdom, Job 28.1-28, Proverbs 1.20-33. 3.13-18, 4.1-9, 7.1-5, 8.1-36, 9.1-6, 14.3; Wisdom 6.12-11.1; Sir 4.11-19, 6.18-37
Witch of Endor, 1 Samuel 28.7-25
Women weeping for Tammuz, Ezekiel 8.14
Zarephath Widow, 1 Kings 17.8-24
Zeruiah, sister of Abigail and King David, 1 Samuel 26.6; 2 Samuel 2.13, 18, 3.39, 8.16, 14.1, 16.9, 10, 17.25, 18.2, 19.21-22, 21.17-18, 23.37; 1 Kings 1.7, 2.5, 22; 1 Chronicles 2.16, 11.6, 39, 18.12, 15, 26.28, 27.24
Zillah, Genesis 4.19, 22-23
Zilpah, Genesis 29.24, 30.9-10, 35.26, 57.2, 46.18
Zipporah, Moses' wife, Exodus 2.21-22, 4.20, 24-26, 18.2-6; Numbers 12.1



                                                         

JULIAN OF NORWICH, HER SHOWING OF LOVE AND ITS CONTEXTS ©1997-2017 JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY  || JULIAN OF NORWICH  || SHOWING OF LOVE || HER TEXTS || HER SELF || ABOUT HER TEXTS || BEFORE JULIAN || HER CONTEMPORARIES || AFTER JULIAN || JULIAN IN OUR TIME ||  ST BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN  ||  BIBLE AND WOMEN || EQUALLY IN GOD'S IMAGE  || MIRROR OF SAINTS || BENEDICTINISM|| THE CLOISTER || ITS SCRIPTORIUM  || AMHERST MANUSCRIPT || PRAYER|| CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY || BIBLE AND WOMEN PORTAL