If Flame Falls on Cedars, Women Leaders Will Put Out the Fire: The Biblical Deborah Reimagined

April 22, 2021 | Dr. Wendy Zierler

The Biblical Deborah has been adduced as a feminist model for women's leadership as far back as the earliest agitations for women's ordination at the end of the 19th century. But well before then, in Trieste, Italy, the first modern Hebrew woman poet, Rachel Luzatto Morpurgo (1790-1871) placed herself in the shoes of the biblical Deborah as well as those of the erudite rabbis of the

Talmud, subtly suggesting that women poets, pastors, and leaders might be able to do the job better than their erstwhile male counterparts. Discover the story of the biblical Deborah through the unique lens of Morpurgo's 1859 poem "Look: This is New," and learn how modern Hebrew women's poetry can serve as a vital source of new interpretation for our classical sources.

Presented in partnership with Lilith magazine.

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