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Nashim Zidkaniyot

By: Rabbi Jason Knapel

We know that Chaza”l see that Bezechut Nashim Zidkaniyot Nigalu MeMitzrayim. Because of the merit of the righteous women we were redeem from Egypt. What was this zechut that the women specifically had that was so powerful that it caused the exodus from Egypt?

I think that there are three different approaches to the question. The most common answer is that after the decree to destroy all Jewish newborn males, the people became depressed and decided to stop having children – they felt what was the point – they would only be killed anyway. It was the women who understood that Bnei Yisrael need to continue on and that there is always hope and to stop producing the next generation would certainly seal the fate of the Jewish people. In other words it was the women’s optimism and hope – their understanding that Hashem would not let the Jewish people perish that saved the Jewish people and ensured the continuation of our nation.

A second answer is that in reality it was Moshe Rabbenu that was the instrument of the salvation of the Jewish people. But Moshe would not be around, would not have been able to accomplish everything he did without 3 women who saved his life. Miriam watching that Moshe would survive the Nile, Batya who could have easily killed the Jewish baby and Zipporah who saved Moshe from certain death for forsaking the Mitzvah of Millah. Yes Moshe was the “front man” but Moshe would not have been around if it was not for the women in his life.

The Third approach is found in the Maharal. The Jewish people over their long period of slavery not only did slave work but became slaves. Their mentality was that of a slave. They did not resist, they did not complain, they went through their day of slave labor docile individuals that just accept what is given to them not matter what. All this changed with Shifra and Puah – for the first time the Jews could remember someone did not accept the orders of the taskmaster, someone voiced and objection, someone stood for what they believed not what they were forced to believe. These women finally stood up to their masters – and this started the entire process of geula – the people slowly but surely were waking up from their docile slumber – because of these woman the nation woke up and the redemption process was able to begin.

In our day we need our Nashim Zidkaniyot – or anashim tzadikim, women or men who are willing to give optimism to our nation – to facilitate others to come forward to help the people and to wake up those who slumber that the geula is right around the corner if we do our part – then it will come!

Shabbat Shalom

Rav K