Sarah Series #5: the authority of daughters of Sarah
has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.”
My husband has frequently observed that Nobel laureates are disproportionately Jewish. “One-of-five Nobel Prize Laureates are Jewish... This is an astonishing percentage for a group of people who add up to 1/24th of 1 percent of the world’s population”
I wonder if this is related to their ability to accept, encourage, embrace their women as strong partners?
Shortly after the Southern Baptist Convention’s revision
of its “Faith and Message” statement, which appears to
embrace a patriarchal social order, a Jewish law professor
at Northwestern University wrote to the Chicago Tribune
Though I yield to no person in my commitment to
the accepted tenets of gender equality, I actually
took some satisfaction in the Baptists’ pronouncement since it implicitly repealed their controversial 1996 resolution to preach conversion to the Jews.
What, after all, is more likely to drive Jewish
females away from evangelists than raising “submissiveness” to a religious requirement?
I do know a thing or two about Jewish women
(including the one to whom I have been happily married for 20 years). And while she is extraordinarily gracious in many situations, you can be absolutely assured that “submission” is entirely absent from her behavioral repertoire. . . . My good, assertive, outspoken, forceful Jewish wife will simply never be fodder for conversion to a creed that expects her to be submissive, graciously or otherwise. There is no submission in our family and not much “servant leadership” either. What we have instead, in a tradition dating back to our matriarchs, is debate, disagreement, dialogue and then more debate. I always thought that approach made our marriage happier, stronger, and certainly more interesting. Now it has the added benefit of making us immune to proselytization.
(Steven Lubet, 6 September 1998)
When I was researching Sarai/Sarah I came across the following from a modern day Jewish britah. It demonstrates the HONOR and ESTEEM that is accorded to Sarai/Sarah in the Hebrew culture. When did Christians loose that HONOR? If we are to aspire to be “Sara’s daughters” per 1 Peter 3, does that not make her our MOTHER in faith whom we should HONOR?
from “What’s in a name?”
Madison, WI; August 24, 2005
First I’d like to thank you all for coming for Sarai’s naming ceremony or britah (In Judaism this means a covenant between a woman and G-d or a welcoming of Sarai into the ongoing covenant between between mankind and G-d)….
Sarai, who later had her name changed by G-d to Sarah, is a more well known figure, although I think there is a lot about her that people do not know.
-the name Sarai means “my princess” in biblical hebrew and “contentious” in modern Hebrew.
-She was the wife of Abraham.
-Although a lot is said about about Abraham and his leaving his home, Sarai, his wife, also had to leave her home and went with him to Canaan.
-Talmud – she was so beautiful that all other persons seemed apes in comparison.
-The Talmud even goes further and says she made Adam, who was made in the image of G-d look like an ape.
-Besides being beautiful however, she was also considered by Jewish commentators as the only woman prophetess to be addresses by G-d directly and was superior to Abraham in prophetic vision and he obeyed her words because he recognized her superiority..
-Sarai was also the only woman to have her name changed by G-d and was named Sarah.
-Knowing her relationship with Abraham it is impossible to believe that as the Bible states “Abraham took Sarah with him.” She always stated her mind and if she left her home, it was definitely on her terms and was her decision as much as his.
-There is obviously a lot written about her as Sarah, but it was Sarai that earned her G-d given name.
-In fact it says about Abraham in the Talmud that he is not to be called anymore by his birth name “Abram” and nobody should name their children after him as Abram. About Sarah , however it states that she can be called by both her birth name sarai and Sarah and that people can name their children with her birth name. They explain that Sarai was both admired by the people of the world and the Jewish people, therefore both names could be used. She was a prophetess of both the Jewish people and the World.
-Sarai we have given you this name and we hope that you too will be a prophetess or leader of both the Jewish people and the world. That you will be a woman of immense beauty, which you’ve already accomplished, and that you will earn your name in the world, whether it is given by G-d or the people of this world, your family or your friends.