Women’s Empowerment

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Now Dinah, the daughter whom Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, chief of the country, saw her, and took her and lay with her by force. Being strongly drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and in love with the maiden, he spoke to the maiden tenderly. So Shechem said to his father Hamor, "Get me this girl as a wife." Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah; but since his sons were in the field with his cattle, Jacob kept silent until they came home. Then Shechem's father Hamor came out to Jacob to speak to him.

וַתֵּצֵא דִינָה בַּת לֵאָה אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב לִרְאוֹת בִּבְנוֹת הָאָרֶץ: וַיַּרְא אֹתָהּ שְׁכֶם בֶּן חֲמוֹר הַחִוִּי נְשִׂיא הָאָרֶץ וַיִּקַּח אֹתָהּ וַיִּשְׁכַּב אֹתָהּ וַיְעַנֶּהָ: וַתִּדְבַּק נַפְשׁוֹ בְּדִינָה בַּת יַעֲקֹב וַיֶּאֱהַב אֶת הַנַּעֲרָ וַיְדַבֵּר עַל לֵב הַנַּעֲרָ: וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁכֶם אֶל חֲמוֹר אָבִיו לֵאמֹר קַח לִי אֶת הַיַּלְדָּה הַזֹּאת לְאִשָּׁה: וְיַעֲקֹב שָׁמַע כִּי טִמֵּא אֶת דִּינָה בִתּוֹ וּבָנָיו הָיוּ אֶת מִקְנֵהוּ בַּשָּׂדֶה וְהֶחֱרִשׁ יַעֲקֹב עַד בֹּאָם: וַיֵּצֵא חֲמוֹר אֲבִי שְׁכֶם אֶל יַעֲקֹב לְדַבֵּר אִתּוֹ: וּבְנֵי יַעֲקֹב בָּאוּ מִן הַשָּׂדֶה כְּשָׁמְע

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16 They set out from Beth-el; but when they were still some distance short of Ephrath, Rachel was in childbirth and she had hard labor.
17 When her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, "Have no fear, for it is another boy for you."
18 But as she breathed her last - for she was dying - she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.
19 Thus Rachel died. She was buried on the road to Ephrath--now Beth-lehem. [JPS translation]

טז וַיִּסְעוּ מִבֵּית אֵל, וַיְהִי-עוֹד כִּבְרַת-הָאָרֶץ לָבוֹא אֶפְרָתָה; וַתֵּלֶד רָחֵל, וַתְּקַשׁ בְּלִדְתָּהּ.
יז וַיְהִי בְהַקְשֹׁתָהּ, בְּלִדְתָּהּ; וַתֹּאמֶר לָהּ הַמְיַלֶּדֶת אַל-תִּירְאִי, כִּי-גַם-זֶה לָךְ בֵּן.
יח וַיְהִי בְּצֵאת נַפְשָׁהּ, כִּי מֵתָה, וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ, בֶּן-אוֹנִי; וְאָבִיו, קָרָא-לוֹ בִנְיָמִין.
יט וַתָּמָת, רָחֵל; וַתִּקָּבֵר בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶפְרָתָה, הִוא בֵּית לָחֶם.

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Learn to do good. Devote yourselves to justice; aid the wronged. Uphold the rights of the orphan; defend the cause of the widow.
[JPS translation]

לִמְדוּ הֵיטֵב דִּרְשׁוּ מִשְׁפָּט אַשְּׁרוּ חָמוֹץ שִׁפְטוּ יָתוֹם רִיבוּ אַלְמָנָה:

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No, if you really mend your ways and your actions; if you execute justice between two people; if you do not oppress the stranger, the orphan, and the widow; if you do not shed the blood of the innocent in this place; if you do not follow other gods, to your own hurt -- then only will I let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your ancestors for all time.
[JPS translation. Edited for gender neutrality]

כִּי אִם הֵיטֵיב תֵּיטִיבוּ אֶת דַּרְכֵיכֶם וְאֶת מַעַלְלֵיכֶם אִם עָשׂוֹ תַעֲשׂוּ מִשְׁפָּט בֵּין אִישׁ וּבֵין רֵעֵהוּ: גֵּר יָתוֹם וְאַלְמָנָה לֹא תַעֲשֹׁקוּ וְדָם נָקִי אַל תִּשְׁפְּכוּ בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וְאַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לֹא תֵלְכוּ לְרַע לָכֶם: וְשִׁכַּנְתִּי אֶתְכֶם בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לַאֲבוֹתֵיכֶם לְמִן עוֹלָם וְעַד עוֹלָם:

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Why are times for judgment not reserved by Shaddai? Even those close to God cannot foresee God's actions. People remove boundary-stones; they carry off flocks and pasture them; they lead away the donkeys of the widow, and seize the widow's bull as a pledge; they chase the needy off the roads; all the poor of the land are forced into hiding.
[JPS translation. Edited for gender neutrality]

מַדּוּעַ מִשַּׁדַּי לֹא נִצְפְּנוּ עִתִּים וְיֹדְעָיו לֹא חָזוּ יָמָיו: גְּבֻלוֹת יַשִּׂיגוּ עֵדֶר גָּזְלוּ וַיִּרְעוּ: חֲמוֹר יְתוֹמִים יִנְהָגוּ יַחְבְּלוּ שׁוֹר אַלְמָנָה: יַטּוּ אֶבְיוֹנִים מִדָּרֶךְ יַחַד חֻבְּאוּ עֲנִיֵּי אָרֶץ:

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Sisera, meanwhile, had fled on foot to the tent of Yael, wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was friendship between King Jabin of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite. Yael came out to greet Sisera and said to him, "Come in, my lord, come in here, do not be afraid." So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. He said to her, "Please, let me have some water; I am thirsty." She opened a skin of milk and gave him some to drink; and she covered him again. He said to her, "Stand at the entrance of the tent.

וַתֵּצֵא יָעֵל לִקְרַאת סִיסְרָא וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו סוּרָה אֲדֹנִי סוּרָה אֵלַי אַל תִּירָא וַיָּסַר אֵלֶיהָ הָאֹהֱלָה וַתְּכַסֵּהוּ בַּשְּׂמִיכָה:
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ הַשְׁקִינִי נָא מְעַט מַיִם כִּי צָמֵאתִי וַתִּפְתַּח אֶת נֹאוד הֶחָלָב וַתַּשְׁקֵהוּ וַתְּכַסֵּהוּ:
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ עֲמֹד פֶּתַח הָאֹהֶל וְהָיָה אִם אִישׁ יָבוֹא וּשְׁאֵלֵךְ וְאָמַר הֲיֵשׁ פֹּה אִישׁ וְאָמַרְתְּ אָיִן:

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And Devorah, wife of Lappidoth, was a prophetess; she led Israel at that time.
[JPS translation]

וּדְבוֹרָה אִשָּׁה נְבִיאָה אֵשֶׁת לַפִּידוֹת הִיא שֹׁפְטָה אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּעֵת הַהִיא:

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Do not degrade your daughter and make her a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry and the land be filled with depravity.
[JPS translation]

אַל תְּחַלֵּל אֶת בִּתְּךָ לְהַזְנוֹתָהּ וְלֹא תִזְנֶה הָאָרֶץ וּמָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ זִמָּה:

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But [first] I will step forward to contend against you, and I will act as a relentless accuser against those who have no fear of Me: Who practice sorcery, who commit adultery, who swear falsely, who cheat laborers of their hire, and who subvert the cause of the widow, orphan, and stranger, said the LORD of Hosts.
[JPS translation]

וְקָרַבְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם לַמִּשְׁפָּט וְהָיִיתִי עֵד מְמַהֵר בַּמְכַשְּׁפִים וּבַמְנָאֲפִים וּבַנִּשְׁבָּעִים לַשָּׁקֶר וּבְעֹשְׁקֵי שְׂכַר שָׂכִיר אַלְמָנָה וְיָתוֹם וּמַטֵּי גֵר וְלֹא יְרֵאוּנִי אָמַר ה' צְבָאוֹת:

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The daughters of Zelophehad, of Manassite family -- son of Hepher son of Gilead son of Machir son of Manasseh son of Joseph -- came forward. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the chieftains, and the whole assembly, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and they said, "Our father died in the wilderness. He was not one of the faction, Korah's faction, which banded together against God, but died for his own sin; and he has left no sons.

וַתִּקְרַבְנָה בְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד בֶּן חֵפֶר בֶּן גִּלְעָד בֶּן מָכִיר בֶּן מְנַשֶּׁה לְמִשְׁפְּחֹת מְנַשֶּׁה בֶן יוֹסֵף וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת בְּנֹתָיו מַחְלָה נֹעָה וְחָגְלָה וּמִלְכָּה וְתִרְצָה: וַתַּעֲמֹדְנָה לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וְלִפְנֵי אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן וְלִפְנֵי הַנְּשִׂיאִם וְכָל הָעֵדָה פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֵאמֹר: אָבִינוּ מֵת בַּמִּדְבָּר וְהוּא לֹא הָיָה בְּתוֹךְ הָעֵדָה הַנּוֹעָדִים עַל ה' בַּעֲדַת קֹרַח כִּי בְחֶטְאוֹ מֵת וּבָנִים לֹא הָיוּ לוֹ: לָמָּה יִגָּרַע שֵׁם אָבִינוּ מִתּוֹךְ מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ כִּי אֵין לוֹ בֵּן תְּנָה לָּנוּ אֲחֻזָּה בְּתוֹךְ אֲחֵי אָבִינוּ: וַיַּקְרֵב מֹשֶׁה אֶת

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