Mothers and daughters in Tanach

Last night was a mother-daughter event specifically for 7th graders. It consisted of song, dance, and buffet after speeches by the principal and a guest speaker imported all the way from Monsey. Some of what she touched on I did in this post. But something the principal said about the tradition of mothers and daughters made me think about what examples do we see in TaNaCh. I came up with zero.

We do see a lot of interaction between fathers and sons and a bit between mothers and sons (think of Rivka telling Yaakov what to do), then there are some father-daughter interactions, such as the one between Yiftach and the daughter he offered up to fulfill his vow. We also have extensive interaction between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in Megillas Ruth. Yes, according to the Midrash, Shifra and Puah were Yocheved and Miriam and so formed a mother-daughter midwife team. But we don't see any conversation between them. There is a midrashic conversation between Amram and Miriam when she convinced her father that he has to give at least daughters a chance at life, which was followed by his upbraiding her when it came time to toss the baby Moshe into the Nile. But no actual mother-daughter conversations. Perhaps that absence allows women more latitude on how to mother their daughters.


Chaim B. said…
Perhaps one might speculate (with the caveat that speculation is prone to error, especially in matters mystical) that the mother-daughter relationship is deliberately not discussed in pesukim because it falls under the umbrella of torah sheba'al peh, which we know corresponds to the "feminine" midah of malchus.
Lion of Zion said…
daughters and wives are pretty rare in tanach (e.g., how many are included in the שבעים נפש?), so i'm not surprised that the text does not preserve any mother-daughter conversations.

and in addition to the general paucity of references to daughters or wives in the text, even rarer are actual mother-daughter pairs.

regarding the mother-daughter-in-law relationhip rut, this develops only because the men have beeb removed from the story.
Ariella said…
It is the absence of her husband and a child that provides the objective correlative of the plot. Ruth follows the guidance of her mentor who happens to be her mother-in-law. It is somewhat similar to Esther's following the guidance of her mentor, her adopted father (and possibly husband), Mordechai. I pointed to Ruth because it offers the most extensive conversations one finds in Tanach that approximates the mother-daughter relationship.

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