Women Messengers: Parashat Va’etchannan

This week in the Torah portion we encounter the Shema, the closest thing to a creed the Jewish religion has. The Shema located in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 proclaims that you should love God with “all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.” The haftarah connected with this reading proclaims God’s love for us, a message of comfort traditionally read after the Tishah b’Av, the commemoration of the destruction of the first and second Temple among other tragedies.

I will be focusing on the haftarah’s mention of a messenger of glad tidings. Though not much has been written about female messengers in the Bible, the fact that most commentaries deny their very existence pretty much requires me to write about them. Read more…

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