web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



The Martyred Woman of Valor: Dulcea of Worms


LBJ-051812

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.

In the prose portion that precedes the eulogy we learn about Dulcea’s fate, her extraordinary courage and tragic martyrdom. Shortly after the Third Crusade swept through the Rhineland, two Germans armed with swords broke into Dulcea’s home, struck her, killed her two daughters, Bellette and Hannah, wounded her husband, her son, a teacher and the students. Despite her injury, Dolce immediately leapt up and ran into the street, calling for help and hoping to distract the attackers. She succeeded, for they followed her out of the house, enabling Rabi Elazar to lock the door and prevent the murderers’ re-entry, saving the lives of the injured in the building. Unable to re-enter and continue their intended massacre, the murderers savagely killed Dolce on the spot.

Rabi Elazar ben Yehuda Rokeach in his eloquent eulogy designates Dulcea as chasidah (saintly) and tzadeiket (righteous). In heartbreaking detail, he notes the tragic heroine’s domestic management and business finesse and praises her needlework, noting that she prepared thread and gut to sew together books, Torah scrolls, and other religious objects. He enumerates her knowledge of Jewish practice, her ability to teach Torah to other women and lead them in prayer.

A respected investment broker, Dulcea of Worms was active in arranging matches and negotiating the financial arrangements involved. Moreover, Dulcea was the head of the chevra kadisha for the women in Worms, preparing the dead for their funeral.

Dulcea came from the elite leadership class of medieval German Jewry. She was the daughter of a cantor and the wife of a major rabbinic figure, Rabi Eleazar ben Yehudah of Worms (1165–1230), also known as the Rokeach (the Pharmacist), after the title of one of his most famous works (Sefer ha-Rokeach).

Dulcea and her husband were members of a pietistic circle of Jews, the Chasidei Ashkenaz, that developed following the devastations of the First Crusade of 1096. In order to recover Jewish life among the survivors, Chasidei Ashkenaz authored many mystical and ethical works, known as Sefer Chasidim (The Book of the Pious). This volume was a major resource for everyday Jewish life in medieval Ashkenaz. Rabi Eleazar ben Yehudah was one of the authors.

Above all praise is Rabi Eleazar’s reverence for Dulcea, the enabler of the spiritual activities of the men of her household. The mournful husband invokes for Dulcea at the conclusion of his lament the reward that she be wrapped in the eternal life of Paradise — a tribute to her heroic deeds, and ultimate martyrdom.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Martyred Woman of Valor: Dulcea of Worms”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF map of Gaza City launcher sites centered among high schools.
Israeli Cabinet Cowed Back Into ‘Tit-for-Tat’ by Obama?
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Schonfeld-logo1

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Schild-Edwin

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

Certainly today’s communication via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and the like, including the ubiquitous Whatsapp, has reduced the need to talk with people and communicate at length.

More Articles from Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson
LBJ-032814-Halberstam

Over the years there has been no shortage of reporting about Devorah Halberstam, Ari’s mother. Even in Israel, thousands of miles from the Halberstam home, there have been frequent references in the media to Ari’s mother. Do you know why?

LBJ-031414

When Hitler entered Prague in March 1939, many Czech Jews managed to escape to Palestine, including Alice’s twin Mariane and her families.

Hannah believed that one must learn about the evils of the past so that they aren’t repeated.

Who is Rachel Azaria? Would you have guessed that this dynamo is a religious, 35-year-old woman, mother of four children, ranging in ages from ten years to eight months?

The relatively young Eitam battalion has become instrumental in IDF Southern Command’s Division 80’s efforts to keep up with the ever-changing security situation in Sinai after the fall of the Mubarak regime – and the entry of terrorist elements to the region.

Eishet Chayil is a hymn customarily recited on Friday evenings before sitting down to the Shabbat evening meal. It is a twenty-two verse poem at the conclusion of the book of Mishlei, describing the woman of valor as the ideal wife and mother.

The Nazi officers and their wives were flattered to have the beautiful, poised Arab aristocrat at their parties.

Widow of world-famous nuclear scientist and human rights activist, Dr. Andre Sakharov, and an outstanding activist in her own right, Yelena Bonner was invited to speak of the suffering she endured in Stalinist Russia. Instead, the 86-year-old leader of the Russian human rights movement chose to speak about Israel and the Jews. Why?

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/the-martyred-woman-of-valor-dulcea-of-worms/2012/05/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: