Israeli Women Studying the Bible

When I was a child I watched a movie called “Yentl” starring Barbra Streisand. It was my favorite movie for a long time. Just like Yentl, the young girl in the movie, I wanted to attend the religious training that was only for Jewish boys. I knew they were learning so much about the Bible and other religious documents, which I wanted to learn also.

The movie had a few twist and turns to make it more interesting, but I was interested in the fact Yentl did what she thought was necessary to learn. She assumed the identity of her late brother, until she was found out. This movie had a happy ending for all parties involved. However, that is not always the case in real life.

Many people suffer the consequences for studying the Holy Scriptures throughout the world. But what I want to focus on is the liberation of women in Israel who are finally free to study the scriptures.

Israel Woman Could Not Study

Historically, women were not taught to study the Torah. It was only for men and their sons. Since then women have come a long way in studying the Bible. Now women study too and it has changed the way they view themselves. Their learning has intensified because most women have a real interest in studying. While this is good now, many women have paid dearly for this right to study.

For example, in 1989, religious and secular women marched together toward the Western Wall, carrying the Torah Scroll. They were determined to pray openly without male leadership or approval. This was not heard of before. They appeared to be rebellious women who needed disciplined. So a right-wing, male group violently attacked them.

Possible Reasons Why Women Not Able to Study

Eliezer ben Hyrcanus thought that if women learned the scriptures they would learn to outwit their husbands and sin secretly. Although they were other evidence that suggested women could study the scriptures, his opinion carried a lot of influence and was accepted as correct.

I believe men did not want women to study because they knew women would identify with the various women in the Bible who were in leadership roles and who brought requests to God. God not only answered them, but he also honored them. Some biblical women to admire were Hanna, Esther, and Deborah. Hanna appeared drunk to the high priest, but was actually pouring her heart out to God. Esther risked her life by going to the king without being requested to stand before him. Prophetess Deborah won a war because a man refused to believe and obey God.

Women Study Now

Although women have been secretly studying the Torah for century, they desired to pray and study openly like men did. In time, a group of women went straight to the Supreme Court to apply for their right to pray at the Western Wall and to study the Bible openly. Finally, in 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak ruled that they could. This freed the minds of many women and gave them the confidence to go forward and study. It also released them from the threat of imprisonment.



Now women are studying the stories such as Hanna in 1 Samuel 1 and walking away with hope because they can relate to Hanna, who also lived in a time where men ruled the religious sector. Yet, she defied rules and regulations because she needed something from the only one who could help her – God. She was willing to be beaten to death if necessary, but she had to get to God.

Her story parallels what has happened with women and religion in our time. Some men did (or do) not want women to speak in an assembly, teach or do anything else that would mean being in a leadership role. They are the ones who have held women back for a long time, not God. These are the type of men who crave power and control more than they crave the truth.

But in the end God always has the last say so. It is his will for everyone to hear his truth, even women, who crave God more than power or control. This is why God is blessing them today. They desire God more than power, more than their husband’s love, more than what society gives them. They desire to know him better and the only way to do that is to study his word.

Prayer Time

Our Heavenly Father, who is in heaven,
         Teach us as human beings to be kinder to one another and allow everyone who wishes to learn your ways be allowed to do so.
In Yeshua the Messiah’s name, Amen.


Torah Study
Women Attacked at the Wailing Wall
Chairs, Bottles, Fruit Hurled: Praying Women Attacked by Men at Western Wall
Jewish Agency for Israel

2 thoughts on “Israeli Women Studying the Bible”

  1. Shalom!
    Was the Holocaust a Jewish Retribution?

    Retribution for all without exception.
    So what if you’re the king,
    when King David transgressed he too suffered retribution!

    2 Samuel 11 to 18
    When King David committed adultery with Bath-sheba,
    he had violated the 7th & 10th Commandment.
    After Bath-sheba became pregnant
    he tried to get Bath-sheba’s husband Uriah to have sex with her.
    When that failed, King David plotted Uriah to be killed at the battle ground.
    He then broke the 6th Commandment.
    King David’s subject did not question the royal decree.
    Was that sin in not questioning the “murder” of a fellow human?

    What were King David’s Retributions?
    2 Samuel 12:11 & 12
    Thus saith the LORD:
    Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house,
    and I will take thy wives before thine eyes,
    and give them unto thy neighbour,
    and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

    For thou didst it secretly;
    but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’

    Let us look at the facts presented in the Torah.
    The illicit product was expired after birth.
    King David’s daughter Tamar was raped by her own brother Amnon.
    Absalom, another son of King David killed his brother Tamar.
    Subsequently Absalom had sex with his dad’s concubines.
    King David’s men killed Absalom when Absalom wanted to be the king.
    Over twenty thousand Jews perished over that internal struggle for power.

    When a King can be punished with retribution, what about any Jews?

    Why G-d wanted the Jews to suffer the holocaust?
    In his book, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years,
    Professor Israel Shahak of blessed memory had questioned the Jewish religious law for gentiles.

    How come a Jew will be freed when he killed a gentile as that Jew had broken the “laws of heaven”?

    Why Jews should not save non-Jews especially on Sabbath?

    How come G-d’s commandment of “loving your fellow” be interpreted as loving only your own kind i.e. Jews?

    Why the gentile female rape victim must be executed when a Jew raped her
    as “she is a beast that cause a Jew to sin”?

    Were such faulty Torah interpretations of the early rabbis responsible for the six million Jews to perish during the holocaust?
    From the time of practising discrimination against non-Jews until the holocaust, shouldn’t there be around six million gentiles that die because the Jews did not save them especially on Sabbath?

    Why G-d hardened all the Europeans’ heart and let them only watched the helpless Jews perish under Hitler’s hand?
    Was that G-d’s intention of having the Jews to taste of their own medicine as the Jews had treated non-Jews in like manner?

    What are the Jews’ missions on earth?
    Is it to be the light to gentiles?
    Then why are the Jewish religious law on non-Jews so evil and wicked?

    When will the Jews wake up?

    Was JESUS sent to awaken the Jews?

    Why the Jews do not listen to JESUS?
    The Jews don’t have to believe that JESUS was the messiah
    but at least they should examine JESUS’ teachings, right?

    Was JESUS the WORD of G-D i.e. the Hebrew Alphabets?

    From Letters of Light by Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin –
    The Mishnah states: “With Ten Utterances G-d created the world.”
    As a carpenter employs tools to build a home,
    so G-d utilized the twenty-two letters of the alef-beis to form heaven and earth.
    They are the metaphorical wood, stone and nails, corner posts and
    crossbeams of our earthly and spiritual existence.

    G-d created the alef-beis before the creation of the world.
    The Maggid of Mezritch explains this
    on the basis of the first verse in the Book of Genesis:
    “בראשית ברא אלקים את השמים ואת הארץ—
    In the beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth.”
    The word את, (es) is spelled with an alef, the first letter of the alef-beis, and a tav,
    which is the last.
    The fact is, את, es, is generally considered to be a superfluous word.
    There is no literal translation for it,
    and its function is primarily as a grammatical device.
    So why is “es” present twice in the very first line of the Torah?
    It suggests that in the beginning,
    it was not the heavens and the earth that were created first.
    It was literally the alef-beis, alef through tav.
    Without these letters,
    the very Utterances with which G-d formed the universe would have been impossible.

    Furthermore, Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov explains the verse:
    “Forever the words of G-d are hanging in the heavens.”
    The crucial thing to realize is that G-d did not merely create the world once.
    His words didn’t just emerge and then evaporate.
    Rather, G-d continues to create the world anew each and every moment.
    His words are there constantly, “hanging in the heav¬ens.”
    And the alef-beis is the foundation of this ongoing process of creation.

    Is the solution to change the biased laws against non-Jews?
    Action speaks louder than words.
    Is there any use in rationalizing and explaining away the past deeds of discriminating gentiles?
    The holocaust had happened and six million Jews had paid for their lives!

    Isn’t helping others is in fact helping yourself?
    How you treat others reflect on how you love G-d.
    Whether a man really loves G-d
    can be determined by the love
    he bears toward his fellow men.
    – Levi Yitzhok, quoted in Buber, “Tales of the Hasidim”

    Isn’t change the remedy for preventing another “holocaust”?
    Why can’t Jews learn from history?
    When will the Jews wake up from their sins?

    Toda Raba.

    Jonathan C. KING
    KING = Kind, Innovative, Non-judgemental Guardian

    How many holocausts had the Jews suffered?

    1. I’m sorry for the long wait in a reply. You have really put some thought into this comment so thank you. I love how you gave a couple of resources so others can look up what you’ve said. I have heard of the holocaust as being a punishment of some kind before, but I don’t think I have ever heard anyone present any reasons why. So thank you for that. I believe more and more Jews are waking up to the call God has placed on their lives to teach those who love Him and to spread His message throughout the world. Unfortunately, we all reap what our leaders sow. That’s why we should pray for them to do right according to God’s word. Thank you. I really enjoyed your comment.

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