Beruriah, the wife of the famed Rabbi Meir and daughter of Rabbi Chananiah ben Tradyon, one of the ten Torah students martyred by the Romans for disseminating Torah among the Jewish people was a girl of great understanding, knowledge and piety. She has the distinction of getting one of the few ladies talked about in the Babylonian Talmud and the only one of these women who is deemed to be a Tanna (Torah sage) in her very own right.
Beruriah lived during the 1st and 2nd centuries of the Typical Era, appropriate about the time when the Mishna, or corpus of Rabbinic legislation was getting codified by Rabbi Judah the Prince. The Mishna consists of six orders or sederim and the commentary to the Mishna is acknowledged as the Gemara. The Mishna and Gemara together comprise the Talmud. There are in fact two Talmudim-the Talmud Bavli or Babylonian Talmud, which is the a lot more authoritative and the Talmud Yerushalmi or Jerusalem Talmud.
Beruriah was exclusive for girls of her time in that she not only analyzed with the rabbis but taught them as properly. The Babylonian Talmud, in Tractate Pesachim 62b information that she researched a few hundred Halakhot or Jewish regulations from three hundred masters in a single day. Her studying was so highly regarded that her male colleagues would frequently ask her sights on Jewish authorized matters, specifically those which pertained right to females, amid them ritual purity. In the Tosefta, a corpus of rabbinic law that is structurally equivalent to the Mishna, Beruriah is recorded as getting challenged her father on an concern about ritual purity and Rabbi Judah principles that Beruriah is certainly right. In this exact same supply, Rabbi Joshua states that Beruriah is appropriate when she intervenes in a dialogue among the Tanna Rabbi Tarfon and some other sages.
Beruriah was also known for not getting concerned to converse her head. In Tractate Eruvin of the Babylonian Talmud (Eruvin 53b), she chastises Rabbi Yosi for not abiding by the Talmudic injunction not to converse with females unnecessarily when he asks her which way to the town of Lod, when he could have just questioned her, “where’s Lod?”
There are many tales in rabbinic and other Jewish literature pertaining to Beruriah’s character. Jewish tradition portrays her not only as currently being very forthright but also as someone who could be really tender and mild. rabbi fishel todd demonstrates this. In Midrash Mishlei, the selection of Midrash on the Ebook of Proverbs (Sefer Mishlei in Hebrew), Beruriah will come residence one particular Shabbat afternoon and finds, to her horror, that her two sons have passed away. She addresses them gingerly with a blanket and awaits the arrival of her partner Meir from the Beit Midrash or home of research in time to make Havdalah, the ritual to mark the stop of Shabbat. Relatively than telling him out rightly of his sons’ fatalities, Beruriah engages in a lengthy discussion so that she can broach the horrible information as carefully as she can. When Meir asks right after his sons, she tells him that they went out and starts to prepare the Saturday evening food as properly as to make Havdalah.
Following Havdalah and soon after Rabbi Meir had completed ingesting his meal, Beruriah asks him a really cryptic concern with regards to whether 1 need to return an product which was still left in one’s treatment for a considerable interval when the first operator of the item returns to retrieve it. The fashion in which Beruriah phrased this issue is very much like 1 would when talking about halakhic matters and the product in question is, of system, their two sons. Rabbi Meir is astonished at the query and asks Beruriah why she would issue the owner’s correct to his house whereupon Beruriah escorts Rabbi Meir into the room where their sons lay. Upon seeing that his sons experienced died, Rabbi Meir weeps and Beruriah reminds him that the authentic proprietor, I.E. G-d, has arrive to assert them. In reaction, Rabbi Meir prices Proverbs 31:ten, “A lady of valor, who can locate”.
Regrettably, this was not the only tragic episode in Beruriah’s existence. Her mom and brother ended up martyred together with her father by the Romans on account of instructing Torah and her sister was sold into prostitution. In the latter scenario, Beruriah convinces Rabbi Meir to rescue her sister and getting successfully carried out so, he and Beruriah are forced to flee to Babylonia, existing-working day Iraq to distance themselves from the Romans who requested Beruriah’s sister’s destiny.
The strength of Beruriah’s character is also displayed in a story regarding some neighbors who aggravated Rabbi Meir to no finish. Rabbi Meir in his disappointment prayed for their destruction, but Beruriah instructed him to pray for their repentance alternatively, employing her interpretation of a verse from Psalms (104:35) to bolster her argument.
Even with her tremendous wisdom and erudition, a legend regarding her dying which was first penned by the eleventh century sage Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzchak), considered to be the biggest Jewish Biblical and rabbinic commentator has forged a shadow over Beruriah and has put her in a damaging gentle. In his commentary to Tractate Avodah Zarah 18b of the Babylonian Talmud, a tractate which concerns itself mainly with the religious and other customs of the non-Jews residing in close proximity to Israel, Beruriah mocks a Talmudic assertion that girls are lightheaded and to show her improper, Rabbi Meir sends 1 of his pupils specifically to seduce her. The scholar succeeds, proving the level that all females are ready to be swayed, no matter of the wisdom and understanding they have attained. Totally ashamed, Beruriah commits suicide by strangling herself.
Rashi’s rationalization of Beruriah’s demise did not sit well with everybody. Rabenu Nissim ben Yakov of Kairouan clarifies that following Rabbi Meir’s heroic rescue of her sister, she experienced to flee to Babylonia so that the Romans wouldn’t locate her.
Even with the mixed notion of her in rabbinic literature, Beruriah’s story and legacy are considerably admired by ladies of all Jewish backgrounds and affiliations. She supplies an excellent example of a extremely realized scholarly lady which gives assistance to ladies who wish to engage in critical Torah studying which was, right up until lately, not effortlessly available to them. In the Orthodox local community, there are an increasing quantity of seminaries and other educational institutions which enable ladies to do advanced Jewish studying. In spite of currently being a girl at a time when women’s Torah review was the exception and not the rule, Beruriah demonstrates us that she is in a position to hold her own and is even considered one thing of a halakhic or Jewish authorized authority. Beruriah’s product of profound interior energy and knowledge in the encounter of unspeakable tragedy is also anything which we can all emulate.