Frumgirl 1: Listen to Your Wife

Posting Divrei Torah on a blog is not really my thing. I don’t profess to be any great authority on matters Judaic (high school lemudei kodesh grades can attest to that,) and I find all but the most well-written or mind-twisting little essays on the parsha to be deathly boring.

I will make an exception, however, for one of my favorite statements from G-d. It’s in this week’s parsha. I won’t turn it into a D’var Torah, though (really,) so just bear with me for a paragraph.

Sarah (imeinu, I’m not on a first name basis with her,) tells Avraham (avenu, not on a first name basis with him, either,) to throw out the wife she told him to marry in the first place. He balks. And G-d, in all His G-dly big-and-important splendor, gets involved in the domestic. Summarily tells Avraham to listen to his wife; no ifs, ands, or buts, listen to your wife, mister. He could have just said, in active form, to keep the other wife and kid. He didn’t. He put in that little note of admonishment: you gotta listen to your wife!

It is understandable why this is one of my favorite bits of Book, me with my feminist leanings. I like all the little expressions of value for women that litter our conglomerate of beliefs. I like how they affect our modern culture and unique attitudes towards the feminine. There are also very few so explicitly stated admonishments to men in their attitude to women in the Orginal Five, so I carry around this likable bit of Book in an accessible piece of my mind in case I ever need it. And somehow my textual favoritism came to light in the presence of some classmates.

“Oh, that part of the story isn’t in the Koran,” said the Muslim dude I’ve talked about before, by way of argument.

And I was shocked for a moment. But then I realized how telling the omission is in the Muslim attitude towards women, and began wondering who took it out, when, and for what reason.

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Published in: on November 10, 2008 at 8:26 PM  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You can’t blame Avrohom Avinu, The last guy before him who listened to his wife, suffered the fate of having to go out and work. The point of the story is, that if g-d tells you to listen to your wife than do it, otherwise, why take the chance.

  2. Rescue: lol!

  3. i know what you mean – its very empowering to be part of a religious tradition that values its women. but i can’t help but remember that it was good old sarah imeinu who got herself into that whole hagar pickle in the first place. (the only opinion that makes me less popular than this one among jewish women is my take on rachel but for that we need the riot police on standby….)

  4. I would love to hear your take on Rachel.

    Personally I prefer Rashi’s take on Ezer K’negdo. That you are both there, as equals to keep each other going in the right direction. Rescue has a point, the last guy that listened to his wife suffered, as I believe would be the case in the reverse. Often my wife is the voice of reason for me, as I hope I am for her at times as well.


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