Kabbalistic Teachings of the Female Prophets
J. Zohara Meyerhoff Hieronimus
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Buy *Kabbalistic Teachings of the Female Prophets: The Seven Holy Women of Ancient Israel* by J. Zohara Meyerhoff Hieronimus online

Kabbalistic Teachings of the Female Prophets: The Seven Holy Women of Ancient Israel
J. Zohara Meyerhoff Hieronimus
Inner Traditions
432 pages
August 2008
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Miriam was the older sister of Moses, the one who devised the plan to get his mother hired as his nursemaid. She was a prophetess who knew her baby brother's destiny. She later guided the women of Israel across the Red Sea, beating a drum and dancing. Miriam was a midwife, and a suitable symbol of the current age, which is referred to in sacred texts as "the birth pangs of Moshiach." When later Miriam challenged Moses' leadership, God punished her with a plague of leprosy. Her humiliation and repentance were significant and symbolic, but in exoteric terms, Miriam is generally only remembered for the negative phase of her life. She is one of the women of Israel that author Heironimus has selected to celebrate.

According to spiritual lore, there were seven women who could prophesy, and each had unique gifts: Sarah, Miriam, Devorah, Chanah, Avigail, Chuldah and Esther.

Sarah is well known as the long-lived and long-suffering wife of Abraham, who after years of barrenness gave birth to Isaac in her 89th year. Her womanly strength was tested at the celebration at the weaning of Isaac, when all the women brought her their babies to nurse and she had sufficient milk for every one. Biblical teaching makes it clear that without Sarah, Abraham could not have sustained his faith, and that it was through Sarah (as later through Mary) that a miraculous conception was manifested.

Devorah was a high-powered businesswoman who led Israelite men into battle and was well known as a judge. Chanah prayed directly to God for children and, like Sarah, conceived at a great age (130) after years of being tormented by her husband's second wife. Avigail was married to an enemy of David, but she chose to aid David and argued with him the fine points of the law concerning capital punishment. Avigail later became David's wife. Chuldah was a prophetess whose work focused on preparation for the world to come. The orphan Esther, whose father died after her conception and whose mother died after her birth, became a queen.

In this highly organized book, we learn that each prophetess has a story, an essence, and a symbolic body of work for the world. The author, a radio broadcaster, activist and artist, has painstakingly researched writings including the Torah and Kabbalistic writings to produce her portrait of each woman. Her book will serve as an inspiration to women to take one or more of these prophetic figures as a role model, based on the arcane messages inherent in each life.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Barbara Bamberger Scott, 2008

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