Abigail is the wife of Nabal the Calebite from Carmel and later becomes the second wife of David. According to 1 Samuel 25, Abigail is married to Nabal, a wealthy rancher, and she is described as beautiful and intelligent.
Abishag is an unspeaking Bible character involved in the story of the power struggle between King David’s sons. She is used as a tool to move along the plot concerning Solomon and Adonijah; her story conveys the importance of male honor, as Solomon asserts his right to determine the sexual fates of the female members of his household.
The Rabbis describe Achsah as being a beauty, finding an allusion to this in her name: “Whoever sees her is angry [koes] with his wife,” who is not as ravishing as she is (BT Temurah 16a).
The Hebrew Bible character Adah appears in Genesis and is one of the two wives of Lamech. Her sons are in the seventh generation of naturally born human beings, and they are the founders of the civilized arts.
The Hebrew Bible character Adah appears in Genesis 36 and is the daughter of Elon the Hittite and the wife of Esau. Her character demonstrates the importance of women and marriage in understanding kinship groups in the Book of Genesis.
Ahinoam is a Hebrew Bible character appearing in the Book of Samuel as King David’s wife and mother of his eldest son, Amnom. Since Ahinoam’s name usually precedes the name of David’s other wife Abigail, it is suggested that the name order signifies Ahinoam’s elevated status as the mother of David’s firstborn son.
Anda Pinkerfeld-Amir was born to an anti-Zionist family in Poland but became a committed Zionist who immigrated to Israel as a member of Ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir, abandoning her goal of writing in Polish to become instead a beloved writer of Hebrew poetry and children's literature.
Anath (Anat) is a prominent figure in the Canaanite mythological texts, dating to c. 1400 b.c.e., discovered at Ugarit on the Syrian coast. She is a maiden/warrior goddess, the sister or consort of the fertility and storm god Baal. She plays a major role in the Ugaritic myths, rescuing Baal from the underworld and defeating Mot, the god of death.
In narratives or abridged cycles more or less faithful to the biblical text, art has portrayed biblical women as role models and reference, occasionally adding exegetical elements both Christian and Jewish. Although the text of the Bible became fixed at different dates and in various versions, these images are not fixed, but reflect the ebb and flow in society’s attitudes towards women and their role.
Although the Bible does not have much to say about Asenath (Osnat, LXX: Aseneth), the wife of Joseph, she became the main character of a widely disseminated Jewish novel from Hellenistic or Roman times, now called Joseph and Aseneth (JosAs).
Asenath is mentioned in the Torah as “the daughter of Poti-phera” (Gen. 41:45), who was married to Joseph in Egypt. The Rabbis found it difficult to accept that Joseph, who withstood the wiles of Potiphar’s wife and proclaimed his loyalty to the Lord in the palace of Pharaoh, would marry a non-Israelite woman. The question of Asenath’s origins has significant consequences for the standing within the Israelite tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, the two sons born to Asenath and Joseph.
Asherah, along with Astarte and Anath, was one of the three great goddesses of the Canaanite pantheon. In Canaanite religion her primary role was that of mother goddess. In mythological texts from the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550–1200 b.c.e.) city-state of Ugarit, she is called “the creatress of the gods”; her consort at Ugarit, the god El, is called “creator.”
Astarte is the Greek form of the name Ashtart, who, along with Asherah and Anath, was one of the three great goddesses of the Canaanite pantheon. Astarte is well known as a goddess of sexual love and fertility but also has associations with war.
Queen Athaliah is the only woman in the Hebrew Bible reported as having reigned as a monarch within Israel/Judah.
The Rabbis state that Athaliah was one of the four women who wielded the scepter, two of whom ruled over Israel (Jezebel and Athaliah) and two over other peoples (the heathen Semiramis and Vashti) (Esther Rabbah 3:2).
Bathsheba, the wife of David (reigned c. 1005–965 b.c.e.) and the mother of Solomon (reigned c. 968–928 b.c.e.), is featured in each of these roles in one major narrative sequence in the David stories, and she is characterized quite differently in each.
Bathsheba is portrayed by the midrash as a modest woman who carefully observed the laws of family purity, but who found herself, without any conscious action on her part, in an adulterous affair with the king.
R. Joseph Hayyim ben Elijah al-Hakam was a well-known Torah scholar and preacher who wrote many halakhic, Kabbalistic and homiletical books, but never held any public position.
Born into a family of distinguished lineage, whose members were the intellectual and spiritual leaders of Lithuanian Jewry, Rayna Batya Berlin, like the men in her family, viewed Torah she-bi-khetav: Lit. "the written Torah." The Bible; the Pentateuch; Tanakh (the Pentateuch, Prophets and Hagiographia)Torah study as the loftiest means of worship of God.
This article focuses on the fate of biblical women in post-biblical times.
The Rabbis count Bilhah among the six Matriarchs (Cant. Rabbah 6:4:2). She was the handmaiden of Rachel, to whom she had been given by Rachel’s father Laban when she married Jacob.
Katherine M. Cohen was a sculptor and artist dedicated to advocating for equality for women in the arts. Comfortably situated in the community of Philadelphia’s Jewish elite, Cohen created many commissions for the community reflecting Jewish themes and illustrated a Jewish children’s book. Cohen made a speech at the Chicago World’s Fair advocating for the support of artists, and specifically female artists.
Yardena Cohen, daughter of Miriam Rafalkes and Pinhas Cohen (1887–1956), was born on July 1, 1910 in Wadi Nisnas (the Arab name of a district near the Haifa port). Yardena was the oldest of three children; the others were musicologist and writer Ruth Keviti Jordan (c. 1921–c. 1997) and Nir. Her father, who was born in Zikhron Ya’akov, graduated first from the Ritual bathMikveh Israel agricultural school and then from an agricultural college in Berlin. In 1908 he founded the first Hebrew school in Haifa. Her mother, who was born near Vilna c. 1880 and was a descendant of the Vilna Head of the Torah academies of Sura and Pumbedita in 6th to 11th c. Babylonia.Gaon (Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, 1720–1797), studied science with Chaim Weizmann in Geneva and then joined her parents, who were founders of Rehovot. She died in Haifa c. 1960.