What is it to be a Jewish woman?
"May you be like Sarah, Rivka (Rebbecca), Rachel, and Leah." This is the opening of the blessing Jewish parents bestow upon their daughters. Why, the question is asked, do we bless our girls to be like these four women? There were so many amazing women in our scripture. Why Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, and Leah? The answer is given that each of those women came from homes filled with idolatry or evil, yet they blossomed and flourished into righteous mothers of the Jewish nation. From them we can learn that no matter how dark things appear, light can shine through. We can build something bigger that will impact not just our families, but our whole world! They set the tone as models of inner (and outer) beauty, kindness, royalty, dignity, and strength. There are many more matriarchs who faced and rose to a myriad of challenges; their stories are relevant today. These are the gifts and legacy of the Jewish woman.
If you are a Jewish woman today, you are a direct descendant of these women! This website is dedicated to sharing the stories and lessons of the Women of Tanach. Through their stories we can grow into the truth of who we are. Make no mistake about this--the way you carry yourself, the way you walk and talk and even the way you look at others, has a significant impact in this world. Do not underestimate your power.
The Israelite Women Who Were Enslaved in Egypt
It is difficult today to imagine the harsh reality of slavery in Egypt. We can about the Passover story, sing the songs and look at the drawings, but it's easy to slip into story mode and desensitize to the harsh reality of that history.
It was a dark and painful time. It's easy to understand how someone could get discouraged after years and years of slavery. Even today when we learn about the atrocities of the Holocaust of WWII, our stomachs churn and our hearts ache. Yet, we survived. We thrive. Why? What is our secret? We have many 'lifelines' that come from Torah. Golden threads that our mothers have woven into the fabric of our heritage.
The Story of the Copper Mirrors (in short)
After the Jews left Egypt and it was time to build a holy sanctuary, the nation was called upon to donate from the gold and silver they were given before they left Egypt. The women passed forward their copper mirrors. Now, Moshe (Moses) was not sure that these mirrors should be used in the first place--they were, after all, used for vainity purposes. So Moshe consulted with G.d. He was told that the mirrors were to be used; in fact, they were so precious that even though every other element would be used in a limited way, every single mirror donated would be used. Every single one. Any woman who wanted the honor of contributing her mirror would have that honor. And where were they used? They were used to make the washing basin to used by the Cohenim, the High Priests before they could do their service.
There is a connection, a theme with the women in the bible and water. Water is a metaphor. It represents kindness and Torah. It also represents the relationship of this world and Heaven. (More on that another time.)
Sisterhood of the Copper Mirrors
Jewish women are given credit for the redemption out of Egypt. There are terrible misconceptions about Jewish women today. No matter their religious observance, Jewish women are stereo typed and made fun of. And many of us have forgotten who we are. We have been divided by the false lines of denomination when in truth we are all of the same fabric.
If a beggar inherits a million dollars but he doesn't know about it, is he a rich man?
If he doesn't know the truth, nothing about his life will ever change and he will die hungry.
It is time now, for Jewish women to know the truth about who we are; to know the power we have to influence this world for the good. We are all members of the Sisterhood of the Copper Mirrors. The time is now to know the truth. We can, and we will, change the course of history.