Jewish Girls Anyone Must Know – Beruriah, Spouse of Rabbi Meir

Beruriah, the wife of the famed Rabbi Meir and daughter of Rabbi Chananiah ben Tradyon, one particular of the 10 Torah scholars martyred by the Romans for disseminating Torah among the Jewish individuals was a woman of incredible finding out, wisdom and piety. She has the distinction of being one of the handful of females described in the Babylonian Talmud and the only 1 of these females who is considered to be a Tanna (Torah sage) in her personal right.

Beruriah lived throughout the 1st and 2nd generations of the Widespread Era, appropriate about the time when the Mishna, or corpus of Rabbinic legislation was becoming codified by Rabbi Judah the Prince. is composed of six orders or sederim and the commentary to the Mishna is known as the Gemara. The Mishna and Gemara together comprise the Talmud. There are actually two Talmudim-the Talmud Bavli or Babylonian Talmud, which is the much more authoritative and the Talmud Yerushalmi or Jerusalem Talmud.

Beruriah was exclusive for girls of her time in that she not only researched with the rabbis but taught them as properly. The Babylonian Talmud, in Tractate Pesachim 62b information that she researched 3 hundred Halakhot or Jewish laws from three hundred masters in a single working day. Her finding out was so respected that her male colleagues would typically inquire her sights on Jewish authorized matters, specifically these which pertained straight to females, between them ritual purity. In the Tosefta, a corpus of rabbinic legislation that is structurally comparable to the Mishna, Beruriah is recorded as obtaining challenged her father on an situation relating to ritual purity and Rabbi Judah rules that Beruriah is without a doubt proper. In this identical resource, Rabbi Joshua states that Beruriah is appropriate when she intervenes in a dialogue in between the Tanna Rabbi Tarfon and some other sages.

Beruriah was also identified for not currently being afraid to communicate her head. In Tractate Eruvin of the Babylonian Talmud (Eruvin 53b), she chastises Rabbi Yosi for not abiding by the Talmudic injunction not to converse with girls unnecessarily when he asks her which way to the town of Lod, when he could have just requested her, “where’s Lod?”

There are several stories in rabbinic and other Jewish literature pertaining to Beruriah’s character. Jewish tradition portrays her not only as being extremely forthright but also as someone who could be very tender and gentle. A extremely popular tale poignantly demonstrates this. In Midrash Mishlei, the selection of Midrash on the Ebook of Proverbs (Sefer Mishlei in Hebrew), Beruriah arrives home one particular Shabbat afternoon and finds, to her horror, that her two sons have handed away. She covers them gingerly with a blanket and awaits the arrival of her husband Meir from the Beit Midrash or house of research in time to make Havdalah, the ritual to mark the stop of Shabbat. Relatively than telling him out rightly of his sons’ fatalities, Beruriah engages in a prolonged discussion so that she can broach the awful information as gently as she can. When Meir asks following his sons, she tells him that they went out and commences to prepare the Saturday night food as well as to make Havdalah.

Following Havdalah and after Rabbi Meir experienced concluded eating his food, Beruriah asks him a quite cryptic query regarding no matter whether a single have to return an item which was still left in one’s treatment for a significant interval when the authentic owner of the merchandise returns to retrieve it. The manner in which Beruriah phrased this question is very considerably like 1 would when discussing halakhic issues and the item in question is, of training course, their two sons. Rabbi Meir is astonished at the question and asks Beruriah why she would concern the owner’s correct to his house whereupon Beruriah escorts Rabbi Meir into the room the place their sons lay. On looking at that his sons experienced died, Rabbi Meir weeps and Beruriah reminds him that the authentic owner, I.E. G-d, has appear to assert them. In response, Rabbi Meir prices Proverbs 31:ten, “A female of valor, who can uncover”.

Unfortunately, this was not the only tragic episode in Beruriah’s lifestyle. Her mother and brother have been martyred alongside with her father by the Romans on account of instructing Torah and her sister was sold into prostitution. In the latter circumstance, Beruriah convinces Rabbi Meir to rescue her sister and possessing efficiently carried out so, he and Beruriah are compelled to flee to Babylonia, existing-day Iraq to length them selves from the Romans who requested Beruriah’s sister’s destiny.

The power of Beruriah’s character is also shown in a tale about some neighbors who aggravated Rabbi Meir to no end. Rabbi Meir in his frustration prayed for their destruction, but Beruriah instructed him to pray for their repentance as an alternative, employing her interpretation of a verse from Psalms (104:35) to bolster her argument.

Regardless of her remarkable knowledge and erudition, a legend about her dying which was first penned by the 11th century sage Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzchak), deemed to be the biggest Jewish Biblical and rabbinic commentator has cast a shadow above Beruriah and has placed her in a negative gentle. In his commentary to Tractate Avodah Zarah 18b of the Babylonian Talmud, a tractate which considerations by itself mainly with the religious and other customs of the non-Jews living in close proximity to Israel, Beruriah mocks a Talmudic assertion that ladies are lightheaded and to prove her wrong, Rabbi Meir sends a single of his pupils especially to seduce her. The scholar succeeds, proving the level that all ladies are capable to be swayed, irrespective of the wisdom and information they have attained. Utterly ashamed, Beruriah commits suicide by strangling herself.

Rashi’s clarification of Beruriah’s death did not sit properly with absolutely everyone. Rabenu Nissim ben Yakov of Kairouan describes that following Rabbi Meir’s heroic rescue of her sister, she had to flee to Babylonia so that the Romans wouldn’t find her.

Despite the combined perception of her in rabbinic literature, Beruriah’s story and legacy are a lot admired by women of all Jewish backgrounds and affiliations. She provides an outstanding case in point of a extremely discovered scholarly lady which provides support to women who wish to have interaction in critical Torah understanding which was, till recently, not simply accessible to them. In the Orthodox local community, there are an escalating quantity of seminaries and other academic establishments which allow women to do innovative Jewish learning. Regardless of being a female at a time when women’s Torah study was the exception and not the rule, Beruriah demonstrates us that she is ready to maintain her own and is even deemed something of a halakhic or Jewish lawful authority. Beruriah’s design of profound interior power and knowledge in the experience of unspeakable tragedy is also one thing which we can all emulate.

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