“They Let the Children Live”: The Midwives at a Political Crossroads
- Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues
- Indiana University Press
- Number 24, Spring 5773/2013
- pp. 11-26
- Additional Information
The Hebrew midwives in Egypt are the subject of the midrashic anthology comprising Exodus rabbah 1. The redactor explores their identity, professional activity, personal courage and religious faith in a strongly positive light, illuminating their heroism as more than a rebellion against a cruel foreign king. The midwives represent the feminine moral imperative to give and nurture life, in the struggle against the hegemonic male framework, whose moral imperative is more abstract and may countenance—and even command—the taking of life.