Legends of Bruriah

Evidence proves that Bruriah married Rabbi Meir and that she became a woman full of wisdom and great compassion. A popular story regarding the woman shows that she was even able to hold in the death of her sons (who passed away on the Sabbath) and shelter her husband the news until the end of the Sabbath so that he would not feel anger or sadness on the holy day. In this article, you will learn his reaction and what other instances supposedly involved her husband.

As Bruriah came to the moment where she would reveal the death of her sons, she asked her husband: “If someone were to lend her something and then later came to ask for it back, should she return it to the owner?” He replied, “Of course.” Bruriah then led her husband to where their dead sons lay in their beds and reminded him that he agreed that they should “return a pledge to its rightful owner.” In response, the Rabbi exclaimed, “The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Blessed the name of the Lord”.

Other tales involving Bruriah often show her husband in the center of turmoil. For instance, she is said to have once found him praying for the destruction of a neighbor who delivered nothing but irritation. She told him that he should pray that the neighbor found his way and receive guidance instead of hope for his physical destruction. Another story sees Rabbi Meir sending one of his students to seduce Bruriah. It is said that she finally gave in, although the details of this weakness are not fully explained. However, some say that she found out about her husband’s plotting and felt shocked and overwhelmed. It is also believed that she may have taken her own life because of the remorse she felt afterwards.  

Differing opinions and facts surround Bruriah, as a scholar once stated that after the execution of her father , her mother never died, but was instead sold into slavery and that her sister was indeed condemned to a brothel. His account sees Rabbi Meir and Bruriah fleeing to Babylonia in an attempt to elude the Romans.

The clarity of her life seems clouded, as it is not uncommon for such legends to emerge concerning remarkable characters in history. Another scholar believes that the seduction legend was created to show others what could happen to a good woman who attempts to carve a niche in the world of male thinkers.

Overall, Bruriah gained a great deal of admiration for her extensive knowledge regarding the information associated with halakha and aggadah. Halakha (also known as Halocho and Halacha) refers to the collection of Jewish religious law, which includes biblical law, followed by Talmudic and rabbinic law.
Customs and traditions are also a part of Halakha.

In the Halakha , religious practices and beliefs are followed, as well as the many different everyday tasks that life brings. Sometimes, you will find people referred to Halakha as “Jewish Law,” “the path,” or “the way of walking.” Aggadah (also known as Ashkenazi) deals with classical rabbinic literature, predominately recorded in the Talmud and Midrash. It is here that you will encounter anecdotes of historic value, folklore, and practical advice that pertain to a variety of subjects including medicine and business.