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Bruriah (2nd century CE)

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There exists a tradition among Orthodox Rabbis to name their daughters Bruriah, as an assertion of her righteousness. This explains the history of Bruriah, described as a woman a great wit and wisdom, in second century Palestine. She was one of several women quoted as a sage in the Talmud.

She’s greatly admired for her breadth of knowledge in both halachah and aggadah. She was also very involved in the halachic discussions of her time and even challenged her father on a matter of ritual purity.

Many described Bruriah’s enormous inner strength. The Midrash on the Book of Proverbs tells her sons suddenly died on the Sabbath, but she hid their deaths from her husband until she could tell him in a way that would comfort him. She posed this question to him: If someone were to lend her something and then later came to ask for it back, should she return it. Her husband, Rabbi Meir, said of course they should return it. Bruriah then showed her husband their dead sons. She reminded him that he believed they should return a pledge to its rightful owner. Her husband replied, “The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Blessed the name of the Lord.”





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