women in tora
core of stories in the first five books and beyond with very consistent language, style. look at Bloom's "book of J" and Freidman's "hidden book of the bible"
nothing voodoo here, just literary analysis.
In these stories we find the men shirking duty and women taking active role.
1) adam and eve lounging around the garden, eve gets the whole story rolling by choosing MORE.
(not sure if this one goes along, but i just thougt of it: twice abraham goes down to some kingdom, egypt, the other one i don't remember, fears the king will kill him for sarah, so she lies for him says she aint married to him and becomes king's consort. SURE IT DOES, she saves his ass!)
2) isaac favors the son that god does not, a son who apparently does not have the right AMBITIONS for the ongoing story, so his wife takes things in hand instructs yaakov what to do and how to trick the father, isaac for the birthright.
3) are the 12 tribes important to the story? it's yaakov's 4 wives jockying for best position that ends up producing these 12 kids.
4) judah gets tamar as wife for his first son. the son is not enough for her wild powers of life and dies. the second son, onan, is supposed to take his place, shirks his duty on the ground and is killed for it. judah fears for his third son's life and sends tamar away for awhile. she's tired of waiting, so she takes matters in her own hand, tricks judah into siring kids off her himself.
the importance of these kids? they lead to David to moshiach by way of Boaz, see Ruth.
5) lot flees sodom with his two daughters. as far as the DAUGHTERS know, huddled in the cave having seen their whole world destroyed, they are IT, so they trick him into having kids. One kid is.. MOAB. significance? see Ruth.
6)Moses tries to shirk his calling 5 times before grudgingly accepting. then on the way back to egypt he tries to shirk again, asking god to kill him rather than make him a prophet ( a VERY tough calling, common for prophets to wish death instead) but his wife zipora says "oh know you don't you have a duty to me your wife, to your son to enter into the covenant of jews, to your people! she saves him with a ritual circumsision.
7) finally, Ruth: Naomi is Boaz' relative, she and her two sons and husband move to MOAB, where her sons die and leave no kids. one of their wives is Ruth who loves Naomi and the jews, the STORY so much, she asks to come back to israel with her. there, Boaz is the nearest relative and his responsibility is to give Ruth kids, but he isn't interested. Naomi and Ruth seduce him into it. Ruth is of MOAB, lot's daughters' decendants.
she has a kid. this joins two ancient antagonistic people into the line that will lead though david to the moshiach bringer of world peace.
Just What is the story that this extended J tradition is trying to teach? something about preservation of this grand story by acts of women? must read Bloom again for some clues.
Side note on christianity. everybody wants to enter this grand jewish STORY, so the christians try to adopted themselves into it FORCEFULLY. Mary takes god into her, but it's not in David's line, only her husband is, so where from Jesus? odd. the new testament certainly does NOT continue in this 'book of J' literary tradition! It's way too abstract!