Day Twenty of the Omer
By Rabbi Jill Hammer | Ritual Component
20. Yesod shebeTiferet
The Connectivity Within Compassion
Batya/Pharaoh's daughter (Exodus 2)
The Pharaoh who enslaves the Hebrews is the epitome of all that is cruel. Yet his daughter, while bathing in the Nile, chooses to save a baby Hebrew. Pharaoh's daughter takes the child she finds in a reed basket and raises him as a Egyptian prince. She names him Moses, “drawn out.” Batya is able to reach across lines of class and nationality and show compassion for others.
Without Pharaoh's daughter, whom the Rabbis name Batya, “daughter of God,” there would be no Exodus. Batya represents yesod shebetiferet, the connection of compassion. We can follow in Batya's footsteps by reaching out to those who are unlike us and connecting with them in a kind and caring way.
The day of yesod shebetiferet is also Yom ha'Atzma'ut—Israeli Independence Day. Batya symbolizes all those who take tremendous risks to help the Jewish people, and also those who work across national and religious lines to create peace and justice for all those who dwell in the land of Israel.
The Omer Calendar of Biblical Women, written by Rabbi Jill Hammer and produced by Shir Yaakov Feit, is now available in book form. To order a copy, visit: http://store.isabellafreedman.org/store/HA-J03.html