“Whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her.” (Genesis 21:12)
Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler, the newest Root Source teacher, recently shared her original insights about Women in the Bible with Breaking Israel News.
“We know we are near the end of days,” explained Adler. “Our sources tell us that the status of women will be restored at this time. Not that men and women will be the same at all. But, rather, that we will fix the mistakes that Eve made in the Garden of Eden and bring the final redemption.”
Growing up in an unaffiliated Jewish home, Adler is now the wife of an Orthodox rabbi, Root Source’s own Rabbi Elan Adler, and a sought-after teacher and writer on Jewish topics.
Adler’s path from secular to religious Judaism was a long one. Growing up in New York and South Florida, Adler thought that the only observant Jews lived in Miami Beach and were a dying breed. While getting her PhD in Higher and Adult Education from the University of Maryland, she found her way to an Introduction to Judaism class being taught by Reform and Conservative rabbis to non-Jews considering marrying a Jew. “It was just my level,” recalled Adler to Breaking Israel News.
After completing the Introduction to Judaism course and having an adult Bat Mitzvah (a ceremony in which Jewish children become “adults” in the community), Dr. Adler met a Jewish outreach professional who gave her a pop-quiz on Judaism. She failed royally.
Realizing that she still lacked basic knowledge of her own religion started Adler on her pursuit of Bible-focused studies. She concentrated on Biblical women after several experiences in the Orthodox Jewish world made her question the traditional view of women.
“There are so many great Biblical women. Serach, the daughter of Asher, is one of my favorites,” shared Adler. “Most people have never even heard of her. Yet she had a powerful influence on the Jewish people for generations.”
Adler spent years learning exclusively what accepted historical sources said about the status of women. This led to her well-received teachings on Women in the Bible. For about three years she was the only Orthodox woman to have a Bible column in the Baltimore Jewish Times. “I teach about Biblical women with practical insights for today,” noted Adler.
Following the tragedies of September 11, 2001, Dr. Adler became the motivating force behind her family’s move to Israel in 2010. She has been blogging about women, Judaism and the importance of Jews living in Israel since 2004.
She highlighted an interesting turning point in her teaching focus when explaining how she became a Root Source teacher. “In 2002, I was working to recruit Jewish exchange students to study at the University of Haifa. It was the height of the second intifada and Jewish students were discouraged from coming to Israel. Christian Zionists, however, were not dissuaded. My work changed from bringing Jews to Israel to bringing Christians. I quickly realized the sincerity of this special group of people.”
It is an “honor” for Adler to be the first female Root Source teacher. “I think it is really important for people to not only have a man’s view of the Bible but also a woman’s view,” she explained. “Women have a different perspective and approach to learning. I hope to balance the scales in what I am teaching.”