R. Isaac Arama

With, And Without, Child

05/28/2008
Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

Rachel is devastated by her barrenness and cries out to Jacob: “Give me children or I shall die!” Jacob retorts sharply to Rachel’s outburst. Why?

The renowned R. Isaac Arama explains: In the creation story, woman is given two names — Ishah (Woman) and Hava (Eve). The first name teaches that, like a man (Ish), a woman has all the possibilities and responsibilities of bringing wisdom and goodness into the world.  The second name Hava is additional, the potential of actually bearing children, for Hava means “mother of all life.”

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