Known only as the Mother of Peace, Imma Shalom was lauded for navigating the tense relationship between her brother and husband, both venerated Talmudic sages. Imma Shalom is mentioned several times in the Babylonian Talmud as the sister of Rabban Gamliel of Yavneh, the second head of the Sanhedrin, and the wife of R. Eliezer. She went before a judge to inquire if she could inherit some of her father’s property, although it’s unclear if this was a genuine desire of hers or part of a sting operation with her brother to unmask a corrupt judge. When asked why her children were so beautiful, she credited the kind of lovemaking she shared with her husband. And when her brother and the rest of the Sanhedrin excommunicated her husband, R. Eliezer, she worked to distract R. Eliezer during his daily prayers so that he would not use that moment of connection to God to wish for her brother’s death. Her efforts were thwarted one day when she was delayed by a beggar asking for charity, and her brother died. R. Eliezer asked how she knew what would happen, and she explained that as a woman, she knew that God couldn’t ignore heartfelt suffering.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Imma Shalom." (Viewed on December 11, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/shalom-imma>.