Women's Intuition

A Midrash by Emily Grotta (October, 1996)

Have you ever noticed that women seem to have the ability to communicate without words? They feel each other's pain, they share each other's joys across generations and cultures. Some call it women's nature; others call it women's intuition. Where does it come from? Has it always been so?

It all began in a valley in the land of Shinar.

The sons of Noah, and the sons of Noah's sons, decided to build a city. The men worked diligently, building bricks as hard as stone. And with the stone, they built a tower - the very first skyscraper - reaching to the heavens.

God was not pleased at seeing the skyscraper. God thought, "Rather than build decent housing, schools, places of worship, public baths and meeting houses, these men are only interested in their own egos and whether they rise above others. How vain to think a tower makes a name great! "

God then looked for the women, but they were not at the tower building site. God found them elsewhere in the city. They were working, keeping the city running: caring for their families, educating the children, tending the sick and elderly. God saw that the women had not participated in the building of the tower of Babel.

God therefore decided to thwart the egos of men by confounding their speech, so that they would not understand one another.

But to the women, who had not taken part in building the tower, God gave the power of intuition and the ability to communicate with each other across boundaries.

Thus, when God scattered the people across the face of the earth, even though women may not speak the same language they are still able to understand one another.

Author's note: the idea for this midrash arose as the Larchmont Temple Shabbat morning Chevra Torah was discussing the portion.