I close my eyes and fall
back rejoining the strong women of my history
I change my name with Sarai as she becomes Sarah
I pass goatskins to Rivka to disguise Yaakov as Esav
I stand behind the marriage canopy with Rachel as Yaakov unknowingly marries Leah
I strum a harp with Serach as she tells Yaakov that Yosef is still alive
I sing with Miriam as she leads the Jewish women through the parted Yam Suf
I protest with the daughters of Tzelafchad as they ask Moshe for their inheritance
I sit with Devorah under her date tree as she judges the Jewish people
I hand Yael the tent peg to kill Sisera and save her nation
I pray with Chana in the Mishkan at Shiloh as she beseeches Hashem for a child
I fast with Esther as she prepares to approach Achashverosh and try to save her people
I cry tears of joy as Shelomtzion reinstates the Sanhedrin and rule of the Perushim
I hold the basket for Yehudis to place Holofernes’ severed head
I commentate on Jewish law and Torah with Bruriah among the Talmudic sages
I practice my religion in secret, the price of discovery death, with Gracia Mendes Nasi
I establish the first Bais Yaakov school for girls with Sarah Schenirer and help save Jewish observance and education
I write about the Torah portion with Nechama Leibowitz and bring Israeli Jews back to Torah
I chronicle life in captivity in the cramped Annex with Anne Frank
I walk alongside Chana Senesh to death by Nazi gunshot
I learn Jewish studies in a yeshiva classroom with my fellow classmates
These women paved the way
for me, my daughters, my granddaughters
for Jewish women of every generation
to blossom into the strong women we have the potential to be.
After all, it’s in our history.
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One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.
A little while ago, I was at my friend’s house for Shabbos. Her younger sister, who was in second grade, had a friend over; let’s call her T. According to today’s beauty standards, T was absolutely gorgeous. In addition to being physically appealing, her personality was totally adorable.