Jewish woman prays on Mount of Olives, overlooking Temple Mont
Jewish woman prays on Mount of Olives, overlooking Temple Mont Nati Shohat/Flash 90

"Because of Righteous Women, our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt." That or similar words are found in Gemara Sota and other sources.

No doubt, the courageous midwives who defied Par'o - Shifra and Puah - are part of that sentiment. So are the wives who kept up their husbands' morale in the dark years of exile and oppression.

But let's go back further, to see the amazing women of the Jewish People. Sara Imeinu saw what was needed for the development of the future Nation, and she told Avraham to banish Yishmael. Avraham did not like the idea and G-d had to tell him to listen to Sara. He was motivated by fatherly love; Sara saw the future of the Jewish People.

Yitzchak wanted to give the main bracha to Eisav. Rivka arranged for Yaakov to receive it. Yitzchak was motivated by fatherly love; Rivka Imeinu saw the big picture.

Yaakov wanted to marry Rachel. Love at first sight. Rachel and Leah saw the big picture and cooperated with Lavan's deceit of Yaakov. Tamar saw what Yehuda did not.

Back to Sh'mot. Miriam prophesied to her father that he and the other men should reunite with their wives, to assure the growth of the soon-to-be nation of Israel.

Yocheved and Miriam and Bat Par'o were instrumental in the birth and well- being of Moshe Rabeinu. Tzipora saw what Moshe did not, and acted swifty to save his life and that of the future nation.
More to say, but let's touch on the second topic.

One of many p'sukim in the Torah that (should) provide Chizuk and Idud can be found in Parshat Sh'mot.
In G-d's first appearance to Moshe Rabeinu, His first prophecy to Moshe includes G-d's statement that He has heard the cries of the People and has remembered His promises to the Avot, and that, "And I will go down to rescue them from the hand of Egypt and to bring them up from that land to a good and expansive land, to the land flowing with milk and honey... (Sh'mot 3:8)

Every Jew who lives in Israel and especially those who were born and raised in Chutz LaAretz, can feel that their being in Israel is a fulfillment of G-d's promise to take us out of galut and bring us to the Land flowing with milk and honey. That is CHIZUK.

And the IDUD, the encouragement, but also the challenge to Jews who still live in galut - even the 'wonderful' Jewish communities that have everything for a full Jewish life - is How do you understand Sh'mot 3:8 and other p'sukim like it - and what are you doing about it?

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