The Woman Who Earned a Place Alongside the Rabbis of the Talmud

Bruriah is the only female cited repeatedly as a religious authority, and rarely shown in the roles the Talmud generally associates with women. Who was she?

A mural by Hugo Ballin at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles showing Rabbi Akiva (behind bars), Rabbi Ḥanina (wrapped in a scroll), Rabbi Meir (sitting), and Bruriah (standing above Meir). Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

A mural by Hugo Ballin at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles showing Rabbi Akiva (behind bars), Rabbi Ḥanina (wrapped in a scroll), Rabbi Meir (sitting), and Bruriah (standing above Meir). Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

Observation
Jan. 15 2020
About the author

David Wolpe is rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and the author of, among other books, Why be Jewish? and Why Faith Matters. He can be found on Twitter @RabbiWolpe.


This is the second in a series of occasional essays by David Wolpe on lesser-known figures in Jewish history. The first, on the biblical king Josiah, is available here.

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More about: Bruriah, Lesser-Known Figures in Jewish History, Religion & Holidays, Talmud, Women in Judaism