The Prophet Yeshayahu’s messages of Geula/ Redemption are apt answers to our present-day prayers. They are tailor made for our times. He exhorts the people of Israel to abandon their self-image as aniya soara -- a poor tempest-tossed woman ( 54:11) -- and rise as bat Tziyon -- the daughter of Zion, a nation with a sense of pride and dignity.
Volunteerism is in her DNA. Juliette Samama was born in Tunis, Tunisia, daughter of Rav Ishua Shtrug, the rabbi, chazan (cantor), mohel (circumsciser) and shochet (ritual slaughterer) of the city’s Jewish community. He performed the functions of four men, yet did not draw a salary.
In recent months I have been profoundly affected by the news of growing anti-Semitism in most European countries and in the United States, especially on college campuses. When, at the end of World War II, I emerged a living skeleton from the German concentration camps, I believed that the horror of Jew-hatred was defeated forever. And now, as I watch my grandchildren raise their young families, the news of the ancient hatred’s revival strikes fear in my heart for their safety. For the Jewish future.
I have always been overwhelmed by the sense of responsibility the message of Har Sinai has placed upon women. The Midrash teaches that the Almighty asked Israel: “What can you give as an assurance that you will keep my covenant?”
Galut Mitzrayim -- the Egyptian Exile -- has come to epitomize exile in Judaism. It is the ultimate galut, the ultimate exile and it embraces all aspects of the later exiles: displacement, foreign subjugation, powerlessness, and exposure to extreme physical and mental torture.
Ask any child who the main heroes of the drama are and he will say, Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon HaKohein. No need to elaborate, the Torah is clear and explicit in assigning these roles. Despite his reluctance, Moshe is singled out for his assignment and so is Aharon. The voice of the Almighty is distinct in reiterating their mission, and they, faithful servants, obey the Divine command and earn their place in the limelight.
About a year ago, my husband and I joined a new synagogue in Netanya. In the women’s section a strikingly elegant lady caught my attention. Only later, did I come to know that Irene Burg’s looks were only the tip of the iceberg.
“Fill the Void” is the title of Rama Burshtein’s film that played to critical acclaim at the recent Toronto International Film Festival and earned seven Ophir Awards -- the Israeli Oscars -- including one for best film and best director, and has become Israel’s entry into the 2012 Oscars' foreign language category.
Yad L’isha - Helping Hand for Woman is a Legal Aid Center and Hotline where free legal advice and representation is offered to women locked in marital prisons who would otherwise have nowhere to turn.
From the moment she is introduced as Avraham’s young bride (Bereshit 11: 29,30,31) till her death in this week’s Torah portion appropriately titled Chayei Sarah -- The Life of Sarah , the fascinating image of our first matriarch is the subject of many intriguing Midrashic commentaries.
A historical drama unfolds before our eyes in this week’s Torah portion. It is a dramatic confrontation whose impact has shaped Jewish history for thousands of years. Sarah and Hagar, two women – two worlds - faced each other.
In this week's Torah portion, within the majesty and mystery of creation, the woman emerges in three successive stages.
How can one fathom the depths of a mother’s pain upon the brutal loss of her child? Sherri Mendell’s first-born son was viciously murdered near their home on May 8, 2001. How does a mother cope with the news that her spirited thirteen-year-old, while hiking in the neighborhood, was bludgeoned to death by rock-yielding Arabs?
Miriam Scheinsohn was born on April 26, 1918, in Vitebsk (Belorussia), the youngest of eight children (she had three sisters and four brothers). Soon after Miriam’s birth the family moved to Kovno (Kaunas) in Lithuania, where her parents owned a textile factory.
Her family descended from Portuguese Marranos who had sought asylum in England in the eighteenth century. Grace Aguilar was born there at the onset of the nineteenth century (1816), and her remarkable work would exercise an impact on the historiography of Jewish life in the ensuing three decades of that century.
TV producer and author Yael Nitzan’s decades’ old dream is becoming a reality. Through the generosity of the Haifa municipality, an empty 200-year-old palace, once owned by an Arab sheikh, will be turned into “The Museum of Israeli Women.” Although in other countries there are museums documenting the accomplishments of women, Israel, with the world’s highest ratio of museums per person, has none dedicated to the women who contributed to the founding of the State of Israel and to its development.
Who is Anastasia Michal Michaelevski Samuelson? Fashion model, electronics engineer, Beauty Queen, Knesset Member, devoted mother of eight, champion of the underdog, passionate Israeli, committed Jew? Would you believe that she is all of the above – and more?
"I felt here that I was at home," remarks Agnes Keleti about her arrival in Israel in 1957. An Israeli emissary had invited this leading Hungarian Jewish female athlete to participate in the fifth Maccabiah Games that year, and that’s when she discovered that Israel was “home.”
“I think the Holocaust is possible again. I didn’t think so before I came to the United Nations, but I think so now.” “Diplomacy regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict at the U.N. has nothing to do with peace, but is quite simply a continuation of war against Israel by other means.”
Shoshana Bluth’s telephone number is a help hotline for mothers and wives of Israeli soldiers – a hotline of faith, emunah in Hebrew.
The lecturer, a soft-spoken woman radiating sincerity and warmth was especially impressive. And so was her topic: “Proper nutrition as a bridge to health and longevity.”
The Middle Ages boasted a number of outstanding Jewish women. The most remarkable among them was Dulcea of Worms, wife of Rabi Eleazar Rokeach. We learn out about her remarkable character and capabilities from an elegy her loving husband composed in the form of an alphabetic acrostic fashioned after King Solomon’s “Woman of Valor" in Proverbs 31. Dulcea of Worms, however, rose above the stature of the Biblical “Eishet Chayil” both in capabilities and character.
When I first saw Hilda Pistiner I believed she was a German tourist. Later, when I met her personally and found out she was an Israeli born in Bukovina, I labored under a second mistaken assumption: I believed she had been a pioneer in pre-State Israel, her fresh youthful blond looks untouched by the Holocaust. How wrong have I been!
It’s fascinating to realize that the People of Israel growing into a mighty nation in Egypt was a reward for the heroism of the Hebrew midwives.
This year International Agunah Day was observed on March 7th, the Jewish calendar date of Taanit Esther, the Fast of Esther. The date was determined by ICAR - The International Coalition for Agunah Rights. ICAR is a coalition of 27 organizations working together to abolish defiance in granting a “get” (Jewish divorce) and extortion in the divorce process within the framework of Jewish Law.