Two distinct types of heroines

Revisiting the question I brought up before Chanukah:  If you had the ability to choose, which heroine would you prefer to be? 

The eponymous heroine of Megillas Esther never sought attention for herself until she had to step up and act for the sake of her people.  Esther had to conceal her identity and her distaste for the role of queen to a king who hated the Jews as much as Haman did. She had to endure living with him for years beyond her coup of saving her people, establishing a holiday, and adding a book to the canon of TaaNaCh honor that is read twice every year.


Though there is no text for it within TaNaCh, there are stories that include the heroism of Yehudith. She is the very strong and straight-forward type of heroine. She spoke up against the outrages committed against Jewish women. And she did not take a passive stance with respect to the general either. She only had to maintain a pretense with him for long enough to get him guard. Then she promptly chopped off his head with a sword. Very direct and to the point.

Another difference between the two is that of choice. Yehudith chose to act on her own volition. In contrast, Esther was taken as queen and directed by Mordechai when to keep a low profile and when to speak up. She certainly is one who had greatness thrust upon her and rose to the occasion.


Comments

Orthonomics said…
There is definitely an interesting contrast. I think there is an appeal to each type of personality. I'm curious as to your preference, since you asked the question?
Ariella said…
I don't think I could handle Esther's role. Even she, who was one of the 7 prophetesses, found it a strain. According to the Midrash, when she declared "Ish Tzar veoyev" [A persecuting and antagonistic man," she instinctively pointed at the king himself, for he is the one who allowed the death sentence to be passed on the Jews. But this would not have been very politic, and so an angel shifted her direction to "Haman hara hazeh!" Yet, she had to remain married to this man that she must have found beyond despicable for years. She even had to bear his son.

I would much prefer the role of Yehudith, which is quick and direct with only the most minimal amount of subterfuge to lure her victim in.She even was able to declare herself unsullied by the encounter.
Ariella said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chaim B. said…
2 types of heroines = a Brisker chiluk? : )
Orthonomics said…
I'm more of a go in for the kill type too.

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