Women in the Hands of Men: Rabbinic Interpretations of the Four Matriarchs

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm, Royce Hall Conf/Seminar - - Herbert Morris Seminar Room 306

Jerry Rabow Lecture

See below for additional information.


Free and open to the public.


Humanities Admin Group
(310) 206-1868



Additional Information

It’s not surprising that many of the familiar Hebrew Bible tales concerning the four Matriarchs portray them very favorably. However, the Book of Genesis also relates some episodes about these women that seem to imply mixed or even negative judgments about particular aspects of their moral characters.

We’ll examine how the contributions of classical rabbinic commentary create balance and nuance for our understanding of the Matriarchs’ characters—in particular, through some imaginative and often surprising stories in the midrashic literature that read against the grain of Torah in order to counter the positive or negative implications of the biblical text.

Jerry Rabow, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, retired from the practice of law in 1996 to focus on studying, teaching, and writing.  He has taught many adult education programs for synagogues, universities, book groups, and other Jewish, legal, and general community organizations, including lecturing extensively about topics related to his books. 

He continues to be active as a member and lay leader of Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue in Encino, and he currently serves as a public member of the Institutional Review Board for Human Subject Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

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