by Rabbi Susan Schnur

Four Matriarchs? Make that Six

It’s been only a scant 3500 years or so since the deaths of our biblical Matriarchs (:.”l). so it might come as a surprise to find equality-creep already affecting a few of our more liberal synagogues. In the Hebrew Amidah prayer [a core set of blessings], after the usual address to the “God of our Patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” a davener might now find a newly inserted phrase addressed to that more bashful deity. He [sic] of our “Matriarchs—Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.” Some of us come face-to-face with this ontogeny routinely, so it no longer knocks our tefillin off.

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