Tag Archives: Prophetess

Jew of the Week: Rebecca

Yom Kippur Begins Friday!

Yom Kippur, by Gottlieb (1878)

Rivka bat Betuel (c. 1677-1554 BCE) Often known simply as “Rebecca”, she is famous for being one of the four Matriarchs of Israel, wife of Isaac and mother of Jacob and Esau. A prophetess of the highest degree, she communicated with God to determine the fates of her twin children. Later, she out-prophesied her husband and drafted an ingenious plan for Jacob to rightfully receive the divine blessings (thus ensuring Jewish survival and continuity). Rivka is the Torah’s epitome of modesty, true love and purity. In fact, the first time the Torah mentions the words “love” and “virgin” are in regards to her. Embodying an incredible measure of strength – perhaps the first icon of girl power – she single-handedly watered Eliezer’s 10 camels. (That’s about 2000 litres of water that she personally hauled from a well!) Yom Kippur is her birthday.

Words of the Week

It’s better to eat in order to pray, than to pray in order to eat.
– Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (1789-1866)

Jew of the Week: Queen Esther

Heroine of Purim

Scroll of Esther

Queen Esther (c. 4th Century B.C.E), the daughter of Avichayil, she was originally named Hadassah (meaning “myrtle”), and was given the Persian name Esther (which has multiple meanings, including “morning star”, “moon”, “goddess” and “hidden”). The first official Miss Universe, she was selected for her beauty from thousands of candidates across the whole known world. King Ahashverosh was enchanted by her instantly, and promptly made her his queen. A humble orphan girl raised by her cousin (or uncle) Mordechai, she used her wits to overturn the genocidal decree of Haman. Taking both a religious and militaristic approach, Esther organized three days of fasting and repentance, while mobilizing the Jews to defeat Haman’s evil forces. Ultimately, she saved the Jewish nation from total extinction. She is one of the 7 known prophetesses of Israel.

Chag Purim Sameach! 

Words of the Week

The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won more of his grace and favour than all the other girls, so that he set the royal crown upon her head and made her Queen…
Scroll of Esther 2:17

Jew of the Week: Dvorah

One-Woman Supreme Court

Dvorah (c.1107-1067 BCE) Also known as “Deborah”, she was the fourth Judge and Leader of Israel after Moses. A One-Woman Supreme

A Date Palm. Deborah Would Have Sat Under Something Similar

Court, she would sit under a palm tree all day and judge the toughest legal issues of the day. At the time, Israel was overrun by a Canaanite megalomaniac named Yavin, and his general Sisra. Dvorah inspired a rebellion and led the battle towards a miraculous victory, freeing the Jews from oppression. She subsequently composed a beautiful poem – “the Song of Dvorah” – which we sing to this day (see Judges, chapter 5). A woman of incredible power, she is one of the Seven Prophetesses of Israel, led the nation for 40 years, and according to esoteric sources, could even communicate with beings from another planet! It is fitting that her name is Dvorah, meaning “bee”, whose honey is sweet but whose sting is painful.

Happy Adar and Shabbat Shalom!


Words of the Week

Said Rabbi Joshua ben Levi: When a person walks along the way, a troop of angels march before him and announce: “Make way for the image of the Holy One, Blessed Be He.”
Midrash Rabbah, Devarim 4