Creative Jewish moms have been around for a long time. So long, that tradition attributes great qualities to the woman, who has always been known to be the great bearer, nurturer, and even collective redeemer of the Jewish nation. Her attributes are quite different than a man’s, and it is exactly those qualities that make her so unique in the world of creation. Besides natural beauty, spiritual grace, and the capability of re-creating a human life that has been gifted to the woman, women emulate Hashem in ways that men cannot.
Women have an extra special ability to understand things, a sense that many people call intuition. In Jewish sources this powerful quality is called “bina” and it is especially attributed to the Jewish women of yore, whose extra sense regarding priorities, what is just, what is goodness, and what is truth in the world, gained them great merit. According to our Sages, this innate understanding and strength has led the Jewish people to being saved from obliteration in every generation, ours included. The Jewish home is the source of light, education, peace and prosperity for the Jewish nation, and the Talmud does not mince words on the appreciation a man must have towards his wife for being, as the Gemara puts it, “his home”.
During the difficult transition that the ancient Israelites had to make in the desert, from leaving the generations-long, bondage mentality of Egypt, to gaining freedom and the newfound responsibility that came with becoming G-d’s chosen nation, it was the Israelite women who constantly kept their eyes on the prize. Less swayed by the physical trials and tribulations of life, the women were the ones who retained hope and faith throughout the epic tale of all the Jews’ difficulties in Egypt and beyond, over the course of many difficult years. The story of “the Golden Calf” is a complicated piece of Jewish history. Every step in the story of the Exodus has been intensely charged with emotional and spiritual implications, and yet there is the powerful step behind the front lines that is heard in each parsha—the women who continued to bear and lovingly raise their Jewish children, despite the threat of death by Pharoh; the drums and tambourines that they carried to praise G-d, even though they had no idea where they were actually being taken; and in this parsha, the refusal of the women to acquiesce to the command of their husbands to donate their golden jewelry for the creation of a new “leader” that would “intercede” for the Jews with their G-d. The women’s refusal is what saved the Jewish people from losing their new found spiritual status, and what allowed the Jews to regain the chance to accept the Torah in its entirety. This act saved the Jewish people both spiritually and physically, and gained the woman status in her participation of the building of the Mishkan.
The woman, according to the Torah, is always naturally closer and more attuned to what Hashem wants of her—as a human being, a mother, a creator, a wife, a knowing servant of the Almighty. She uses her “bina” to get there, and no matter how much people would like women to be equal with men in secular society, if they remove her from the natural gifts that she has been endowed with, then they have done nothing but strip her of her greatness.
THIS WEEK: Mothers have a deep sense of perception that is all their own. They can feel when something is just not right with a child, they can sense when negativity is seeping into a place where light once shown. Take the opportunity to touch that part of your own knowledge, and bring that loving wisdom to your family.