We have certainly come a long way from when a woman’s only worth was to bear children.

Just see how Chapter 30 begins: “When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister, and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” For having no children, she despised herself.

Associated with this was the women’s practice of using their maids as surrogate mothers. See that is not a new phenomenon really. Only today, the surrogate mothers are not usually sexually intimate with the fathers The maids accepted that they children they bore belonged to their mistress. (Well we don’t know every case in detail- One young tells us that she was asked to carry Epstein’s child after conceiving normally and then give the child up to him and his woman/ girlfriend/ partner or however their relationship was defined..

Yes. Rachel got children via her maids. That was enough to make Leah jealous even though she (Leah) had already borne four sons. Enough to make Leah jealous, but not enough to satisfy Rachel because she wanted her very own son, which finally happened when Joseph was born.

All this drama and intrigue over childbearing and childlessness; and fighting for herbal medicine- if that is what the mandrakes were supposed to be – maybe medicine for infertility???

All this fighting. Thank God for delivering the sons/ clans of Jacob from the infighting they grew up with.

I really cannot know how the women felt, though. I always wanted a family of my own and gave birth to children in my early twenties. My attitude might have been different if things had turned out the other way. I’ll never know.

What I do know though, is this. Every child is a person. And so, I also have a child to whom I did not give birth and he is as precious as the others.

It does not mean that my sisters who childless, especially the ones who did not chose to be, are any less woman than I am.

Better not have children just to add to your cv, if you plan not to devote yourself to nurturing them.

God bless all mothers and help them fit the role.

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