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Midrash and Aggadah

Norma Rosen

In her novels and essays, Norma Rosen found new and powerful ways to approach difficult issues from abortion to the Holocaust.

Anita Diamant

Both through her writing and through her work as founding president of Mayyim Hayyim, Anita Diamant has breathed new life into Jewish midrash and rituals.

Sandy Sasso

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso was the first woman rabbi ordained by the Reconstructionist movement, which was one of many firsts in her career.

Lynn Gottlieb

One of the first ten women rabbis, Lynn Gottlieb became a voice for peace between Jews and Muslims.

The confrontational face of Miriam

When we are first introduced to Miriam in the Bible, the times are bleak. The Egyptian Pharaoh has decreed that all baby boys born to the Hebrew slaves be immediately put to death.

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.

Spirituality in the United States

Spirituality can be defined as life lived in the presence of God. It embraces not only traditional and formal modes of religious expression, but also more informal individual and communal efforts to remain mindful of the sacred in all aspects of experience.

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.

Sex

The rabbinic discourse of sex has been at one and the same time both empowering and sharply disabling for women. In constraining all women to be wives and mothers, the possibilities for women’s lives have been severely constrained and to a great extent women’s roles have been denigrated as well.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Midrash and Aggadah." (Viewed on July 23, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/midrash-and-aggadah>.

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