Earlier, Debra Band discussed how she visually expresses biblical stories and shared the back story behind “Arise! Arise!” Her blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:
One of the remarkable things that I discovered early in the project was how these three stories, set in the earliest decades of the Israelite tribes’ appearance in the Land, together model the very set of values that would become central ideals for the Israelite kingdom, and indeed, forever after, in the lives of all women and men who derive inspiration from Tanakh.
Equally remarkable, in each of these stories set in what we commonly perceive as a thoroughly patriarchal era, it is the women rather than the men who lead in modeling these qualities. Deborah was, so far as we read, the first to unite the tribes (or at least many of them) to repel a common enemy since the settlement of the land under Joshua — she is the first leader to instill a sense of national purpose. Her efforts are characterized by her overall good judgment, her courage (in which she is joined by Jael), strategic shrewdness and faith in prophecy.