Sunday, June 12, 2016

Omer 2016 Recap

Honorable Mention
How many women could I name from the Tanakh before this Omer? Not nearly 49, but I am pleased to report that in the end I had women to spare! Here are some that I just couldn't place in the Omer, but who are nonetheless fantastic and have very interesting stories:
  • Keturah, Abraham's second wife after Sarah's death (Genesis 25). Rashi suggested that Keturah was another name for Hagar, but others disagreed.
  • Timna, Esau's son's concubine (Genesis 36:12). Feminist Judaism makes a big deal about her, because she is singled out among Esau's son Eliphaz's wives as just his concubine, instead of a full wife like the others (WRJ Torah). Another midrash suggests that she wanted to convert to Judaism, but was denied.
  • Elisheba, Aaron's wife (Exodus 6:23) was mentioned only once in passing, but as the wife of the high priest, her life must have been fascinating. She also endured the tragic loss of her sons, Nadab and Abihu.
  • Moses' second wife, the Cushite woman was a source of discord between Moses and his siblings, particularly Miriam, who was very upset that he would marry an outsider.
  • Peninnah, Hannah's rival wife (1 Samuel 1) taunted Hannah for being barren.
  • Solomon's 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:1-5). We think of Solomon as a wise and great king, but these 700 wives and 300 concubines managed to lead him astray and in his old age he worshiped their gods.
  • The concubine from Bethlehem (Judges 19) quite possibly has the saddest story that I read in the Tanakh. She was taken as a concubine by a Levite man, but she ran away from him back to her father's house. He then went after her and took her back from her father. He showed no regard for her on their journey back to his home and when his life was threatened by an angry mob, he threw her out into the street, where the mob raped her to death.
In preparing for the Omer this year, I didn't get through the entire Tanakh (I read up to 2 Kings), so I'm sure that there are even more women who would have made great additions to the blog this year.

Below is a list of all the women of the Omer this year. I have put a * next to the ones I am most proud of.
Day 1: Naomi*
Day 2: Shifra and Puah*
Day 3: Rachel
Day 4: Hagar
Day 5: Sarah
Day 6: Rebecca
Day 7: Abigail
Day 8: Michal
Day 9: Potiphar's wife*
Day 10: Jezebel
Day 11: Yael*
Day 12: Lot's wife
Day 13: Yocheved
Day 14: Zipporah
Day 15: The women with the baby
Day 16: Hannah
Day 17: Abishag*
Day 18: Samson's first wife
Day 19: Manoah's wife
Day 20: Zilpah and Bilhah
Day 21: Vashti
Day 22: Rahab
Day 23: Leah
Day 24: Sisera's mother*
Day 25: The woman who killed Abimelech
Day 26: Miriam*
Day 27: Tamar, Judah's daughter-in-law
Day 28: The clever woman of Abel of Beth-maacah
Day 29: The widow who fed Elijah
Day 30: Zelophehad's daughters
Day 31: Deborah, Rebecca's nurse*
Day 32: Jephthah's daughter
Day 33: The clever woman of Tekoa
Day 34: Asenath
Day 35: Bathsheba
Day 36: Orpah
Day 37: Delilah
Day 38: Esau's wives
Day 39: Lot's daughters
Day 40: Eve
Day 41: The sorceress in En-dor
Day 42: Naamah
Day 43: Huldah the Prophetess
Day 44: Deborah
Day 45: Pharaoh's daughter
Day 46: Esther
Day 47: The Queen of Sheba
Day 48: Dinah and Tamar, King David's daughter*
Day 49: Ruth*