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Even in today’s day and age, with all of the advancements made in the treatment of women, we must rethink and challenge our value system.

Abraham the Feminist

Abraham the Feminist

Sarah’s Courage: Lesson 3

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Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
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Craig Hamilton Sandwich, MA September 2, 2013

I talked to my wife and she said to use women's first names. So, now I do. I think it is a great idea. I was so foolish before. Reply

Hadassah August 31, 2013

Dear Chana, this was tremendous.I learn something new from you each time.What a wonderful understanding of Avraham and Sarah, and the differences between the two cultures and how they are viewed.Please continue to teach us more. Reply

Avigail Castillo Jerusalem August 7, 2013

Hi Chana,
I think this is a beautiful and interesting lecture. I loved it. Thanks for giving us another perspective in order to build and appreciate our inner beauty.


Reply

Lisa Long Beach May 20, 2013

I would like to further explore Sarah's beauty. I truly believe it was the glory of HaShem making her more beautiful and youthful than any other woman around. HaShem had to rejuvenate her body to prepare for physical birthing of a child and rebirth Sarah into the true image of HaShem as well. I rather have His glory than botox and cosmetic surgery any day! Reply

Anonymous May 10, 2013

Thank you Chana for a nice story.
Do we have a description how Sarah how she looks like?
I think the most beautiful woman for a man is his beloved.....wife. Reply

Social Science research USA May 10, 2013

The clue to note: Triumph. Boundaries can get trespassed if one loses a sense of awareness. Maybe the belittlement of the disregard didn't seem too bad, never the less it's a trample. Persons who engage in this regularly seem to think that some would be so completely naive to even notice a stranger entered intimate places w/o permission nor regard. WHAT sneakiness drives people to go so far? Astonished I realized some personalities thoroughly engage themselves to intrussive spying in this manner regularly, many not even knowing anything is wrong. Whether entered into subtley or bold: "No, stop and don't", somehow do not register with this type of invader. This type of entity somehow seems to think that G-d's inner rooms are safe & open for 'their' inspection. Who could inflate by gazing with so ill an intention? A robber is one who presses past all barriers in order to obtain & covet that which is gazed upon. Could any be searching for the source of Virtue, or ideal heredity like this? Reply

Bracha Ruth Zaklad Tzfat May 9, 2013

I am finding your new series highly enjoyable. I look forward to each new class and savor their message and quality. The presentation, the review, the visual elegance and simplicity all harmonize beautifully. Good work and may you go from strength to strength! Reply

Craig Hamilton Sandwich, MA May 7, 2013

I rarely refer to any woman by her first name other than my wife for a different reason. When I am around other women I typically don't say their names. This has nothing to do with physical attractiveness of other women, and everything to do with my desire to make myself scarce, so that I do not seem attractive around other women, possibly boldly stating a name sexual. Historically, women often make themselves available to me, even offering sex for free. What woman would possibly want to have a relationship with me if I don't even bother to demonstrate that I at least know her name (is my thinking)? Thus, by not using names, I avoid new relationships with women. My relationship with my wife (who asks not to be named) is sacred, and one way I make our relationship sacred is this. One woman told me that I could have two wives, however, two wives is not what I want because that would jeopardize my marriage. Reply

Chana Weisberg May 7, 2013

Having said that, however, being that the "yetzer hara" --evil inclination/temptation will be "slaughtered" in the Messianic era, you raise an interesting point about whether specific strong barriers that are meant to safeguard the genders will be as necessary. Reply

Chana Weisberg May 7, 2013

thank you all so much for your positive comments and kind words. Your feedback is very much appreciated.
To anonymous, yes, I see religious duties/roles expanding in Messianic times--but for both men and women. The primary occupation for all mankind at that time will be seeking out and pursuing a "knowledge of G-d".
As you mentioned, too, it will be a time when there will be an overabundance of all material needs. Consequently, there will be far more time and energy available for all, and as you note, specifically women, to focus more intensely on their spiritual pursuits.
Just as there are different biological and psychological needs and expressions for both men and women, we differ too in our spiritual makeup. I believe that our spiritual pursuits, should and will continue to reflect our differing spiritual energies. Reply

Margarita M via jewishmelbourne.com.au May 6, 2013

Dear Chana,

Thank you for putting very good spin on a very questionable story. There is no question in my mind in importance of Sarah and her influence on women. From the same father (Abraham), but with different mothers we have Itzack and Ishmael. This is the lesson for feminism.

However do we forget to why Abraham told everyone "this is my sister?" He was scared that he will die. It is the moment of weakness and nothing really to do with his appreciation of the beauty of Sarah.

As the woman I have a lot of problems with people judging other women on a skin deep level. Our culture is obsessed with weight and looks. But as a wife, I do want my husband to find me desirable. This is not a socialist feminism of famous book 1984 - we dress up, use perfumes and make up...try to attract our husbands. How many of us what to live with someone who is not sure if you are beautiful until he sees other men looking at you?

Feminism is beautiful. Sarah as a feminist - agree, Abraham? Reply

Anonymous Flemington, NJ May 5, 2013

Thank You very much Chana for this insightful lecture! Respectfully, can you kindly comment on whether you see women religious duties / roles expanding in the orthodox Jewish communities (Chabad included) as we now live in post-modern society, in, G-d willing, pre-Mochiach times. As I understand, Zohar envisions "equal" or "similar" roles for men and women in the World to Come. Therefore, do you envision at least older women (whose children are grown up and therefore having some "free" time) being able to play a larger role in religious activities (Talmud studies, etc.); and younger women who have sufficient family / financial support to qualitatively delegate family obligations? Don't get me wrong, what you and others are doing is a great progress compared to 18th and 1th centuries orthodox communities; having said this, do you see room for further advances near term in this respect? Reply

Anonymous sakaka,Saudi Arabia May 4, 2013

Thanks Chana. You're amazing,every time I watch your lecture.I come to learn useful lessons;particularly about G-D's miraculous love to his people of Israel.
Abraham,the father of the faithful.G-D has shown him great love when he saved Sarai from the hands of Pharos's men.
But the most important lesson is not view a woman externally as flesh but deeply beyond the purpose for which G-D has created her for supreme goal. Reply

Rachel May 3, 2013

Thank you appreciate you...I really enjoy listening.... Reply

Anonymous Arizona, USA May 2, 2013

The way that I interpret it is that the Egyptians saw a "woman". But Torah sees Abraham's wife. The woman chosen for G-d's special purpose. She was important to Hashem. As Sarah was important to Him, we are also important to Hashem. He has given us a special mission, the mission of bearing children in our womb, for the family intended to serve the Almighty, as all other creatures serve Him. By educating these children, nurturing them, in the path of righteousness. Which to me, means good values for themselves and others. When we value others, we also value ourselves. Thank you Chana Weisberg for your teachings. I really appreciate them dearly. Reply