Beruriah, the spouse of the famed Rabbi Meir and daughter of Rabbi Chananiah ben Tradyon, one particular of the ten Torah students martyred by the Romans for disseminating Torah amongst the Jewish men and women was a lady of tremendous finding out, wisdom and piety. She has the distinction of being 1 of the number of girls talked about in the Babylonian Talmud and the only 1 of these women who is considered to be a Tanna (Torah sage) in her possess appropriate.
Beruriah lived throughout the 1st and 2nd hundreds of years of the Frequent Period, appropriate about the time when the Mishna, or corpus of Rabbinic legislation was becoming codified by Rabbi Judah the Prince. The Mishna is made up of six orders or sederim and the commentary to the Mishna is identified as the Gemara. The Mishna and Gemara collectively comprise the Talmud. There are truly two Talmudim-the Talmud Bavli or Babylonian Talmud, which is the a lot more authoritative and the Talmud Yerushalmi or Jerusalem Talmud.
Beruriah was unique for women of her time in that she not only researched with the rabbis but taught them as properly. The Babylonian Talmud, in Tractate Pesachim 62b data that she examined 3 hundred Halakhot or Jewish laws from 3 hundred masters in a one working day. Her learning was so highly regarded that her male colleagues would frequently inquire her sights on Jewish authorized matters, notably individuals which pertained straight to females, among them ritual purity. In the Tosefta, a corpus of rabbinic regulation that is structurally similar to the Mishna, Beruriah is recorded as getting challenged her father on an problem concerning ritual purity and Rabbi Judah principles that Beruriah is in fact proper. In this identical supply, Rabbi Joshua states that Beruriah is correct when she intervenes in a discussion in between the Tanna Rabbi Tarfon and some other sages.
Beruriah was also acknowledged for not getting scared 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 metropolis of Lod, when he could have simply questioned her, “where’s Lod?”
There are numerous tales in rabbinic and other Jewish literature pertaining to Beruriah’s character. Jewish tradition portrays her not only as being extremely forthright but also as somebody who could be really tender and mild. A very renowned tale poignantly demonstrates this. In Midrash Mishlei, the collection of Midrash on the E-book of Proverbs (Sefer Mishlei in Hebrew), Beruriah comes home one particular Shabbat afternoon and finds, to her horror, that her two sons have passed absent. She covers them gingerly with a blanket and awaits the arrival of her spouse Meir from the Beit Midrash or residence of examine in time to make Havdalah, the ritual to mark the conclude of Shabbat. Rather than telling him out rightly of his sons’ fatalities, Beruriah engages in a lengthy dialogue so that she can broach the terrible news as gently as she can. When Meir asks following his sons, she tells him that they went out and starts to prepare the Saturday night meal as properly as to make Havdalah.
Soon after Havdalah and following Rabbi Meir had completed taking in his food, Beruriah asks him a really cryptic concern concerning whether or not a single must return an product which was left in one’s care for a significant period of time when the original owner of the product returns to retrieve it. The way in which Beruriah phrased this issue is quite much like one particular would when talking about halakhic issues and the merchandise in concern is, of system, their two sons. Rabbi Meir is astonished at the concern and asks Beruriah why she would issue the owner’s correct to his property whereupon Beruriah escorts Rabbi Meir into the space where their sons lay. On observing that his sons experienced died, Rabbi Meir weeps and Beruriah reminds him that the original proprietor, I.E. G-d, has appear to assert rabbi fishel todd . In reaction, Rabbi Meir estimates Proverbs 31:ten, “A woman of valor, who can locate”.
Sadly, this was not the only tragic episode in Beruriah’s existence. Her mother and brother had been martyred alongside with her father by the Romans on account of teaching Torah and her sister was sold into prostitution. In the latter circumstance, Beruriah convinces Rabbi Meir to rescue her sister and possessing efficiently done so, he and Beruriah are forced to flee to Babylonia, present-day Iraq to length them selves from the Romans who ordered Beruriah’s sister’s destiny.
The energy of Beruriah’s character is also shown in a tale regarding some neighbors who irritated Rabbi Meir to no stop. Rabbi Meir in his aggravation prayed for their destruction, but Beruriah instructed him to pray for their repentance alternatively, making use of her interpretation of a verse from Psalms (104:35) to bolster her argument.
In spite of her remarkable wisdom and erudition, a legend concerning her loss of life which was initial penned by the 11th century sage Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzchak), considered to be the best Jewish Biblical and rabbinic commentator has cast a shadow above Beruriah and has placed her in a damaging light. In his commentary to Tractate Avodah Zarah 18b of the Babylonian Talmud, a tractate which concerns by itself mainly with the religious and other customs of the non-Jews dwelling in shut proximity to Israel, Beruriah mocks a Talmudic assertion that females are lightheaded and to demonstrate her incorrect, Rabbi Meir sends one particular of his learners particularly to seduce her. The pupil succeeds, proving the stage that all women are ready to be swayed, regardless of the knowledge and understanding they have attained. Totally ashamed, Beruriah commits suicide by strangling herself.
Rashi’s explanation of Beruriah’s loss of life did not sit nicely with every person. Rabenu Nissim ben Yakov of Kairouan clarifies that right after Rabbi Meir’s heroic rescue of her sister, she had to flee to Babylonia so that the Romans would not discover her.
Regardless of the combined notion of her in rabbinic literature, Beruriah’s tale and legacy are much admired by females of all Jewish backgrounds and affiliations. She supplies an exceptional illustration of a extremely learned scholarly woman which offers assistance to females who wish to interact in significant Torah finding out which was, until finally lately, not simply available to them. In the Orthodox local community, there are an escalating variety of seminaries and other academic establishments which let women to do superior Jewish learning. In spite of becoming a female at a time when women’s Torah examine was the exception and not the rule, Beruriah exhibits us that she is able to maintain her own and is even regarded anything of a halakhic or Jewish authorized authority. Beruriah’s model of profound internal power and wisdom in the face of unspeakable tragedy is also something which we can all emulate.