The Wisdom of Women

One of the special services that the women were able to provide in the construction of the Mishkan was in weaving materials. This was a task which required a special wisdom which only the women possessed. It was not just a weaving skill but a special talent, a form of wisdom (see Ex. 31:1). The Torah refers to this specific quality of the women’s wisdom as “hakhmath lev” (Ex 35:25).

The Rabbis added much dimension to the greatness of women. The Talmud of Eretz Yisrael teaches us of the greatness of our Matriarch Sarah: Rabbi Huna in the name of Rabbi Aha said that the “yod” which God took from Sarah He gave to Abraham (Sanhedrin 2:6).

God split the ‘yod’  (numerical value of ten) from ‘Saray’ into two ‘he’s (numerical value of five). He left one for her and added one to Abraham. This resulted in the two new names  ‘Sarah’ and ‘Abraham’

God imparted some of Sarah’s gist onto Abraham. It was Sarah who made Abraham who he was and not Abraham who made Sarah who she was. Sarah’s gist empowered Abraham and his name forever bears her stamp.

Once again, in reference to Sarah the Talmud of Eretz Yisrael teaches us: Rabbi Berai said: How many circuits does God have to mark out in order to hear the speech of righteous women [as it says] “And He said, no for you did laugh (Gen 18:15)”. (Sotah7:1).

God initially approaches Abraham and not Sarah to bid the good tidings. Apparently, accosting Sarah directly would not have been entirely modest. In Rabbi Berai’s rendering of the episode God approaches Abraham, not so much for his sake but so that Sarah should overhear His message.

It is of particular significance is that God Himself seeks out wise and righteous women goes through circuits just to exchange a few words with them. God’s actions teach us the paramount importance and especially great esteem of wise women.