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CC: womeninthebookofJudges@bible.now

Dear Deborah,

I hope this email over time and space doesn’t find you too busy. I am actually impressed by the description that you as a leader used to sit under the palm tree. Most leaders in my context today seem to be always on the move, difficult to find time to talk to.

I am also a bit fascinated when people claim that the texts about your time and your leadership might be some of the oldest texts that we have in the Bible. Hmm, the issue of women in leadership seems to have been there from the very beginning!

Let me focus on the scene when you called Barach to take responsibility. “Only if you go with me”, he answered. Was he afraid, aware of having too little strength on his own? Or was he, as some people would say today, “gender sensitive”, knowing that women and men have to stand side by side?

I guess I’ll never know, but I am a bit surprised by your answer to Barach. Was it your frustration that only men were recorded in history which made you respond like that? I wish I could have been there, listening to you and Barach singing together (!), and seeing some people being surprised at the way you emphasized the role of women…

I hope to be back, but let me focus a few final topics:

-           Why are women so invisible in leadership structures?

-           The stories in the book of Judges is really going downhill, especially about women. From better to really, really worse! And the end of the book finishes in a frustrated “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit”. But - did they really have that faith in new structures as the major solution? I suppose that kingdom hierarchy didn’t change much for the women.

Looking forward to hearing your reflections

Kind regards,


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