| |
login
register

The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach
NEXT CLASS
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach
Wednesday December 20, 2017
9:00PM
The class will begin in:
3 days, 11 hours, 3 minutes
Instructor: Mrs. Sarah Rudolph
you are not logged into WebYeshiva.org
login or
register

Times on this page are shown for: Israel/Eastern European - Jerusalem, Athens, Helsinki change
Share this course with your friends and family:

The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach


Wednesday 9:00PM
add this shiur

Course Description

Did Sarah share her husband’s devotion to God, or was she just a secondary figure along for the ride? What motivated Esther to finally take charge and save the day in Shushan? What do traditional rabbinic scholars think of surprising heroines such as Rachav, Devorah, Yael, and others?

In this course we will engage in close study of the Bible’s accounts of these and other women, developing our own insights while examining the insights of a range of classical commentaries spanning the full history of Jewish Bible study and interpretation. Some of these women are famous; some less so. Some are heroic; some perhaps not so heroic. Some are beautiful; all are bold, often taking action in unexpected ways. Together, we will develop our appreciation of the depth and complexity of these women and their contributions.


About Mrs. Sarah Rudolph
Sarah Rudolph is a Jewish educator and freelance writer. She has been sharing her passion for Jewish texts of all kinds for over 15 years, with students of all ages. Sarah's essays have been published in a variety of internet and print media, including Times of Israel, Kveller, Jewish Action, and more. Sarah lives in Cleveland with her husband and four children, but is privileged to learn with students all over the world.


Class Resources & Information

Can't watch the Webex archive files? Click Here
PREVIOUS CLASSESCLASS DESCRIPTIONHANDOUTSARCHIVES
June 7, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
Rachav the Zonah

In our first session, we will examine the story of Rachav, the "bold and beautiful" woman in Jericho who saved the lives of two Jewish spies and was saved in return, along with her family, when the Jews captured her city. What sort of woman was Rachav, and what motivated her good deed? Are there broader lessons to derive from the story of this unlikely heroine? 

 
pdfRachav - handout.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
June 14, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

In our second session, we will move from the relatively obscure Rachav to the much more well-known Sarah, the first of the Matriarchs. We will examine the text at the beginning of her story, utilizing midrashic traditions and selected commentaries to add insight between the lines and discover clues to Sarah's personality and relationships - her relationship to G-d, her relationship to her husband, and permeating it all, her relationship to the mission G-d entrusted to her husband. 

 
pdfSarah - handout 1.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
June 21, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

In this session we will continue our discussion of Sarah, with a focus on her husband's marriage to Hagar, her maidservant, and the aftermath of that marriage. We will also take a careful look at the delivery of the news that Sarah herself will have a child. 

 
pdfSarah - handout 2.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
June 28, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

Having backtracked from Rachav (in the time of Joshua) to Sarah, we will now jump way ahead in time to Devorah, the prophetess and judge. What sort of person was she, and what sort of leader? What can her interactions with Barak tell us about their relationship and about her, and what does she herself have to say about her leadership? 

From Devorah, we will segue to talk about Yael, of tent-peg-wielding fame, next week. Our discussions of both of these women will consider not only their personal character traits and stories, but how they may relate to a broader conception of "women in tents" as introduced through our study of Sarah. 

 
pdfDevorah - handout.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
July 5, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

After examining Devorah's unique personality and qualifications that led to her becoming a respected religious leader, it still remains for us to consider the details of how she describes herself in that role. We will then move on to the story within the story: the account of how a woman named Yael saved the day by driving a tent peg through the skull of the enemy general. What led Yael to take this step? What does her approach tell us about her, and what might others' portrayals of her suggest about women in general? 

 
pdfYael - handout.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
July 12, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

Having analyzed the details of Yael's story last week, we will complete our discussion of her character by considering how her behavior relates to the "women in tents" motif. We will then move on to look at Esther, who acted (or didn't) in a much larger "tent": the palace of King Achashverosh. What can we uncover about Esther's personality, at various points in the story? How, when, and why did she change?

 
pdfEsther - handout.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
July 19, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

We began our study of Esther last week by talking about Vashti, noting two major qualities of hers that stand out in Rabbinic portrayals of her character: (1) antagonism to Jewish observance, and (2) promiscuity. In contrast, Esther is viewed as (1) devoted to observance, even as she hid her Jewish identity, and (2) modesty.

However, our study of the verses - and even careful attention to the Rabbinic interpretations - led to the conclusion the text itself tells us little about her character and even midrashic descriptions tend to the vague; mostly, we hear about her in terms of others, as she "does whatever Mordechai says" and passively accepts whatever is given to her at the harem.

It remains for us to examine the Rabbinic basis for describing Esther as modest, and to see how this passive modesty evolves as the story continues. By the end, we will meet a new Esther, who is anything but passive!

Time-permitting, we may have a word to say about Batsheva as well, by request, before moving on to Ruth in our final session together. 

 
no handouts posted yet
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
July 26, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

Last week, we saw how Esther flips 180 degrees: where she once showed a childlike obedience to Mordechai, she suddenly grows up and into her role as a bold (and maybe beautiful) woman. Esther takes charge of the crisis, including giving instructions to Mordechai, and succeeds in defeating Haman.

This week, we will complete our study of Esther with one fnal source that emphasizes just how far she has come, and then move on to Ruth.

Through a careful study of the text of Megillat Rut, we will consider whether she deserves her reputation as a strong, dedicated convert - or whether, perhaps, she actually deserves a vastly different (but no less positive) reputation. 

 
pdfRut - handout.pdf
x-arfWebex
plain
mp3Audio
October 25, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

In this first meeting of our fall session, we will begin with a brief review of the women and major concepts discussed during the summer. (Those women were: Rachav, Sarah, Devorah and Yael, Esther, and Rut.) We will then introduce Chana as our first subject for this session, and begin to get to know the major figures in her family life: her husband, Elkana; and Elkana's other wife, Penina. What can we uncover about the personalities and motivations of each of these characters, and how might these relationships have played a role in leading to Chana's momentous prayer for a child? 

 
pdf1 - Intro handout.pdf
pdf2 - Chana - handout 1 - cast of characters.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
November 1, 2017 8:00PM - 9:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

Last week, we just began to introduce ourselves to Chana's husband, Elkana. In this week's session, we will get to know him a little better, and also his other wife, Penina - and of course, Chana herself. What motivates each of these characters? What can we uncover about Chana in particular: her personality, and the ways in which she does and does not serve as a role model for the rest of us? 

 
pdf2a - Chana handout 2.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
November 8, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

We have discussed Chana's intense longing for a child as her unique struggle. After further exploring how midrashic traditions portray the essence of that longing, we will go on to consider: (1) her surprising approach (according to midrashic tradition) to persuading G-d to grant her heart's desire; (2) what elements of her behavior are viewed by Rabbinic tradition as prescriptive for others; and (3) the aftermath of her prayer - how her emotions shift and her life changes. 

Following our conclusion of Chana's story, we will go back in time to a very different (or not so different?) character: Rivka. We will begin to consider how the Torah introduces us to Rivka and her suitability for the role she will play in building G-d's nation.

 
pdf3 - Rivka - Handout 1.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
November 15, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

We began to meet Rivka last week - or rather, to lay the groundwork for meeting the woman who would possess every sought-after quality to continue Avraham's legacy alongside Yitzchak. In this week's class, we will continue to check her against our list, finally bringing her into Sarah's tent... at which point she will begin to live her own life in that role, in her own way. What way will that be? What is Rivka really like?

 
pdf3a - Rivka - Handout 2.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp3Audio
mp4Video
November 22, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

We met Rivka as the perfect candidate to become the second-generation Jewish Matriarch, as she demonstrated qualities necessary both for that historic national role and, perhaps, for relating to her intended husband. In fact, she stepped into her late mother-in-law's shoes (or more precisely, tent) perfectly. In today's class, we will examine how Rivka goes about life in her new position, and whether she may have in fact brought some elements of her upbringing into her marriage.

Time permitting, we will then jump centuries ahead to meet "Avigayil, the wife of Naval" - and one of King David's wives. We will consider the information the Navi presents in introducing her, before examining the story to see how she demonstrates qualities of her unique character as well as some characteristics surprisingly typical of women in the Bible.

 
pdf4 - Avigayil - handout 1.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp3Audio
mp4Video
November 29, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

In this class, we will examine the story and character of Avigayi - "wife of Naval," and later, "wife of David." What qualities does it take to stand up to an anointed king on the warpath, and to talk him down? How does Avigayil demonstrate those qualities, and how does she end up becoming David's wife? As always, we will consider these questions via a careful reading of the Biblical text, along with commentaries and midrashic traditions. 

Please note: "Handout 1" has been modified since it was posted last week; the new version is included here. 

 
pdf4 - Avigayil - handout 1.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
December 6, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

After reading most of the narrative last week, today's discussion of Avigayil will focus largely on the midrashic details offered by the Talmud. How do these details inform our picture of Avigayil as she has been understood through centuries of Jewish tradition? We will also consider how her marriage to Naval defines her even - or especially - after she is married to David.

 
pdf4 - Avigayil - handout 2.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp3Audio
mp4Video
December 13, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach

Who was Batsheva? 

It is easy to think of the relationship between David and Batsheva as David's story. The debate about his behavior, as G-d's favored king, with regard to this married (?) woman and her husband has been going on for centuries. However, it is a mistake to think of any woman in the Bible as simply a passive "prop" to someone else's story, and Batsheva is no exception. Though the textual, midrashic, and exegetical material is leaner than with most of the women we have studied, we will see there is much to uncover and consider in exploring Batsheva's character and story on her terms. 

 
pdf5 - Batsheva - handout 1.pdf
x-arfWebex
mp4Video
mp3Audio
NEXT CLASSCLASS DESCRIPTIONHANDOUTSARCHIVES
December 20, 2017 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The Bold and the Beautiful: A Study of Women in Tanach
 
no handouts posted yet
contact us TECH SUPPORT: U.S. 1-646-977-7978 · Israel 073-796-2230 · office@webyeshiva.org

Site design, graphics and maintenance by Marc Gottlieb Creative Solutions yabancı film izle rftgy.com