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Tamar Kadari

Tamar Kadari received a B.A. in Hebrew Literature and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Midrash at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She teaches Midrash at Bar Ilan University and at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. During her period as a doctoral candidate she was a fellow at the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her academic research focuses on Song of Songs Rabbah and its early interpretations.

Articles by this author

Vashti: Midrash and Aggadah

The Rabbis state that Vashti was one of the four women who were enthroned, two of whom ruled over Israel (Jezebel and Athaliah) and two over other peoples (the heathen Semiramis and Vashti) (Esther Rabbah 3:2).

Tamar: Midrash and Aggadah

The Rabbis spare no criticism of Judah and his sons, pointing out the sins that were responsible for their bitter fate, but they display a different attitude toward Tamar. Although her behavior could be interpreted as an act of sexual licentiousness and wantonness, the midrashim defend Tamar and praise her.

Shiphrah: Midrash and Aggadah

Shiphrah (more commonly spelled "Shifra") was one of the two Hebrew midwives (Shiphrah and Puah) who delivered the children of the Israelites during the Egyptian servitude. The Torah chronicles (Ex. 1:15–21) that they disobeyed Pharaoh’s command and did not kill the Israelite male newborns.

Sarah: Midrash and Aggadah

Sarah, the first of the four Matriarchs, has come to symbolize motherhood for the entire world, and not only for the people of Israel. The A type of non-halakhic literary activitiy of the Rabbis for interpreting non-legal material according to special principles of interpretation (hermeneutical rules).midrash presents her as a prophet and a righteous woman whose actions are worthy of emulation; she converted Gentiles and drew them into the bosom of Judaism.

Rebekah: Midrash and Aggadah

Rebekah, one of the four Matriarchs, is characterized by the Rabbis as a prophet and a righteous woman.

Puah: Midrash and Aggadah

Puah was one of the two Hebrew midwives (Shiphrah and Puah) who delivered the children of the Israelites during the Egyptian servitude. The Torah chronicles (Ex. 1:15–21) that they disobeyed Pharaoh’s command and did not kill the Israelite male newborn. Apart from this brave act, the midwives are not mentioned elsewhere in the Exodus narratives, nor in the entire Bible. The Rabbis identify the midwives with various Biblical heroines, thereby transforming them from secondary characters to central, fully developed figures whose annals spread over additional chapters of the Torah.

Queen of Sheba: Midrash and Aggadah

In the midrashic account, the Queen of Sheba heard of King Solomon’s great wisdom and declared: “I will go and see whether he is wise or not, and I will come to test him with riddles.”

Rachel: Midrash and Aggadah

Rachel is depicted in the Torah as Jacob’s beautiful and beloved wife. The midrash portrays Rachel as a prophetess, and her statements and the names she gave her sons contain allusions to the future. Rachel’s merit continued to aid Israel even many years after her demise.

Peninnah: Midrash and Aggadah

In its depiction of Elkanah’s two wives, the Bible contrasts Peninnah, who had children, and Hannah, who was barren. The Rabbis state that Hannah was Elkanah’s first wife; after they had been married for ten years, and he saw that Hannah bore him no children, he also took Peninnah as a wife (Pesikta Rabbati 43). The midrash explains that Elkanah was compelled to marry Peninnah because of Hannah’s barrenness, which explains his preference for Hannah, his first wife.

Michal, daughter of Saul: Midrash and Aggadah

Michal was Saul’s younger daughter, who fell in love with David and married him for one hundred Philistine foreskins. According to the Bible, Merab, Saul’s older daughter, was to have married David, but she was given in matrimony to Adriel the Meholathite, while David married Michal.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Tamar Kadari." (Viewed on December 5, 2019) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/kadari-tamar>.

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