The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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Tamar Kamionkowski

Tamar Kamionkowski is Professor of Biblical Studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where she also served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs for almost a decade. Her books include Leviticus: A Wisdom Commentary and Gender Reversal and Cosmic Chaos: Studies in the Book of Ezekiel.

Articles by this author

Violence Against Women in the Hebrew Bible

The Bible contains many instances of physical, sexual, and religious violence against women in biblical narratives, legal materials and prophetic rhetoric. These texts both reflect ideologies of the biblical period and are used to excuse violence against women in the present.

Puah: Bible

Puah and Shifrah were the midwives who defied Pharaoh’s orders and allowed Israelite women to birth their sons in safety. It is not clear whether the midwives were Egyptian or Israelite. They may have been overseers for Pharoah’s harem and held positions of honor.

Hagar: Apocrypha

Reference to Hagar appears in a wisdom poem (Bar 3:9–4:4) that is itself part of an apocryphal letter written sometime between 200 to 60 B.C.E. to the priests and people of Jerusalem from Baruch, the scribe and close friend of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36).

Hagar: Bible

Hagar is Sarah’s Egyptian slave woman, whom Sarah gives to Abraham as secondary wife and who would bear a child for him. After Hagar becomes pregnant, Sarah treats her harshly. Eventually Hagar flees from her mistress into the wilderness, where God’s messenger speaks to her. Hagar has long represented the plight of the foreigner, the slave, and the sexually abused woman.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Tamar Kamionkowski." (Viewed on September 23, 2023) <>.


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